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

June 18, 2021 | Christine Rosen
About the author: Christine Rosen is a senior writer at Commentary, and the author of Preaching Eugenics (Oxford) and My Fundamentalist Education (Public Affairs).

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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