As a wave of anti-Semitic attacks swept America Democratic politicians were generally silent, with the noble exception of Congressman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx. And then, suddenly, progressive Democratic politicians began issuing near-identical statements condemning anti-Semitism alongside, as Bernie Sanders put it, “a troubling rise in Islamophobia.” (The exception was Ilhan Omar, who couldn’t bring herself to use the term “anti-Semitism.) Christine Rosen observes:
The only problem with this strategy of lumping together anti-Semitism and Islamophobia? There is no rise in Islamophobia in the country. According to the most recent FBI hate crime statistics, of the 1,715 victims of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2019, 60.2 percent of the victims were Jews while 13.2 percent were Muslim. The most recent wave of attacks has targeted Jews or people who were perceived to be Jews almost exclusively.
Perhaps Democratic party leaders realized that its members tweeting out genocidal slogans (such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”) and reprehensible lies (such as that Israel is an “apartheid” state) wasn’t great for the party’s image. At least, not while Americans watched footage of Jews being hunted down and beaten on American streets by Palestinian flag-waving gangs. But they also couldn’t countenance an unequivocal denunciation of anti-Semitism. Why not?
One reason: the left will only call out anti-Semitism when committed by people they can denounce as white supremacists, thus keeping their narrative about race intact. . . . Another reason? The linking of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as equivalent risks is part of a larger attempt by the progressive left to craft a narrative wherein support for Israel (Zionism) is itself viewed as a form of Islamophobia.
It’s not a coincidence that the members of Congress who are most eager to peddle misinformation about Israel and promote anti-Semitism are also the ones most enthusiastic about equating the current round of violent attacks on Jews with Islamophobia. It gives them cover from having to take responsibility for the ways in which their own rhetoric has encouraged anti-Semitic attacks.