The Democrats’ Feeble Response to the Anti-Semites in Their Midst

June 18 2021

After Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, in a hearing, slandered both her own country and the Jewish state by not only accusing them of “atrocities” but by placing them in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban, a handful of her Democratic colleagues issued a very gentle rebuke. Omar responded with much indignation, and her fellow members of the “Squad”—as she and other young hard-left House members have been dubbed—along with left-leaning pundits, rushed to her defense and joined in her outrage. Christine Rosen comments on what happened next:

No doubt as a result of a phone call from Democratic leaders, Omar, still insisting that she was being “taken out of context,” conceded that she was “in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries.” The House Democratic leadership then issued a statement saying they “welcome the clarification” by Omar. This is the model Democrats followed in 2019 when Omar made anti-Semitic remarks and Democrats refused to condemn them outright. Instead, they passed a resolution condemning all bigotry, effectively condemning nothing at all. Democratic House leaders have failed to call out Omar’s remarks for what they are: clear evidence of her unfitness to serve on the House Foreign Relations Committee at the very least, and evidence of her continued poor judgment.

Of course, even this mild non-rebuke was too much for Omar’s fellow wing-women in the Squad. Representative Rashida Tlaib raged on Twitter that “Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. . . . House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.” The Progressive Caucus in the House issued its own statement blaming a “right-wing media echo chamber” for the response to Omar’s remark.

Which is probably why Pelosi found herself backpedaling on CNN on Sunday.

Criticism of a public official for questionable or misleading statements she made in the course of doing her job, [however] isn’t “tone policing” or Islamophobia or racism. It’s part of the job of being a public servant; you have to answer for your public statements.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Democrats, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Politics

 

Why the Recent Uptick of Israeli Activity in Syria?

Sept. 23 2022

On September 16 and 17, the IDF carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Damascus, reportedly aimed at Iranian logistical centers there. These follow on an increase in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks, which have included strikes on the Aleppo airport on August 31 and September 6. Jonathan Spyer comments:

The specific targeting of the Aleppo airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its “air bridge” to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel’s successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land [via Iraq]. But the increased tempo of activity is not solely related to the specific issue of greater use of air transport by Teheran. Rather, it is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension. There are a number of factors that contribute to this emergent picture.

Firstly, Russia appears to be pulling back in Syria. . . . There are no prospects for a complete Russian withdrawal. The air base at Khmeimim and the naval facilities at Tartus and Latakia are hard strategic assets which will be maintained. The maintenance of Assad’s rule is also a clear objective for Moscow. But beyond this, the Russians are busy now with a flailing, faltering military campaign in Ukraine. Moscow lacks the capacity for two close strategic engagements at once.

Secondly, assuming that some last-minute twist does not occur, it now looks like a return to the [2015 nuclear deal] is not imminent. In the absence of any diplomatic process related to the Iranian nuclear program, and given Israeli determination to roll back Iran’s regional ambitions, confrontation becomes more likely.

Lastly, it is important to note that the uptick in Israeli activity is clearly not related to Syria alone. Rather, it is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture toward the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region. . . . The increasing scope and boldness of Israeli air activity in Syria reflects this changing of the season.

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria, War in Ukraine