The Democratic Party’s New Apologists for Anti-Semitism

March 25 2019

During the recent controversy surrounding Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, several Democratic politicians defended her by claiming she is not anti-Semitic but simply ignorant. Thus Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words.” Christine Rosen comments:

In other words, [Pelosi and others are claiming that], like a misguided toddler who didn’t know any better, Omar should be excused for trafficking in age-old, hateful anti-Semitic stereotypes. It’s an especially ironic narrative for staunch feminists like Pelosi, given how patronizing and sexist the same remarks would have sounded coming from a man (or from any Republican). Omar’s supporters are arguing that Omar is too inept to understand what she is saying—and yet they still granted her a position on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee? . . .

Omar traffics in well-known anti-Semitic tropes, and she knows they are anti-Semitic. We know she does because she has already had several “listening and learning” sessions with Jewish leaders from her congressional district and national organizations about precisely those stereotypes. Many of those leaders expressed surprise that Democrats were treating Omar’s most recent expression of anti-Semitism as if it had been a minor gaffe by a political ingénue rather than as part of a pattern of prejudice from a grown woman who knows exactly what she is signaling when she says these things. Everyone else seems to know what she’s saying— after all, the former KKK grand wizard David Duke tweeted his praise for Omar, calling her “the most important member of the U.S. Congress.”

In addition to treating Omar like a child, the Democratic narrative insists we recognize that she is also a victim—in fact, more of one than the people she is attacking because she is Muslim and is supposedly challenging the foreign-policy status quo with regard to Israel. It is true that Omar has been the target of anti-Muslim bigotry, most recently from the scurrilous lips of the Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. But she is the creator of the controversies that surround her, not the target. . . .

Omar has [thus] emerged from repeated controversies unrepentant and more powerful than before (and retaining her seat on the House Foreign Affairs committee).

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Democrats, Feminism, Nancy Pelosi, Politics & Current Affairs

At the UN, Nikki Haley Told the Truth about Israel—and the World Didn’t Burn Down

April 22 2019

Although Nikki Haley had never been to Israel when she took the position of American ambassador to the UN, and had no prior foreign-policy experience, she distinguished herself as one of the most capable and vigorous defenders of the Jewish state ever to hold the position. Jon Lerner, who served as Haley’s deputy during her ambassadorship, sees the key to her success—regarding both Israel and many other matters—in her refusal to abide by the polite fictions that the institution holds sacred:

Myths are sometimes assets in international relations. The fiction that Taiwan is not an independent country, for example, allows [the U.S.] to sustain [its] relationship with China. In other cases, however, myths can create serious problems. On Israel–Palestinian issues, the Trump administration was determined to test some mythical propositions that many had come to take for granted, and, in some cases, to refute them. Haley’s prominence at the UN arose in large part from a conscious choice to reject myths that had pervaded diplomacy on Israel–Palestinian issues for decades. . . .

[For instance], U.S. presidents were intimidated by the argument that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would trigger violent explosions throughout the Muslim world. President Trump and key colleagues doubted this, and they turned out to be right. Violent reaction in the Palestinian territories was limited, and there was virtually none elsewhere in Arab and Islamic countries. . . .

It turns out that the United States can support Israel strongly and still work closely with Arab states to promote common interests like opposing Iranian threats. The Arab street is not narrowly Israel-minded and is not as volatile as long believed. The sky won’t fall if the U.S. stops funding UN sacred cows like the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA). Even if future U.S. administrations revert to the policies of the past, these old assumptions will remain disproved. That is a valuable accomplishment that will last long after Nikki Haley’s UN tenure.

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More about: Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, United Nations, US-Israel relations