In Condemning Anti-Semitism, the Senate Succeeds Where the House Failed

June 18, 2019 | Liel Leibovitz

In response to the failure of the House of Representatives to pass a straightforward resolution against anti-Semitism—let alone one censuring Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her shameful statements—Senators Ted Cruz and Tim Kaine sponsored a resolution on anti-Semitism of their own, which the Senate passed unanimously. Liel Leibovitz praises Cruz’s speech justifying the resolution:

Two insights . . . make the resolution, and Senator Cruz’s speech, . . . stand out. The first is the . . . understanding that anti-Semitism is a unique form of bigotry that must be condemned uniquely, and not one more rung in the infinite ladder of grievances, real or imagined, that makes up the core of contemporary progressive ideology. Jew-hatred is a historically specific affliction, complete with particular traditions and sensibilities; it is unlike other forms of hatred, and deserves to be treated as such.

From this follows a second insight, equally as profound: even within the specific historical account of anti-Semitism, the American Jewish encounter with this ancient form of bigotry has been unique as well, paving its own forms of discrimination, some subtle and others less so. . . . For this hatred, still very much prevalent today, to end, we need clear and strong leadership. On Thursday, Senators Cruz and Kaine gave us just that.

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