Ilhan Omar Wasn’t Removed from a Congressional Committee for Being “Critical of Israel”

In a party-line vote last week, the House of Representatives decided to remove the Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar from the Committee on Foreign Affairs. According to the Associated Press and PBS News, congressional Republicans acted because of Omar’s “comments critical of Israel.” David Harsanyi sees things differently:

Numerous politicians are “critical of Israel.” Omar doesn’t believe the Jewish people deserve a state, no matter what policies Israel engages in short of going out of business. She is critical of the existence of this one nation. . . . But that’s not the central problem, either. Omar, when already a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, compared the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. . . . And when Omar says House members are expected to pay “allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country” or that supporters of Israel are in it for “Benjamins,” she is not “being critical” of any policy, she is spreading ugly “tropes.”

The press then uncritically repeats Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’s claim that Democrats “unequivocally condemned” Omar four years ago, without any pushback. But either Jeffries is lying or doesn’t understand that unequivocal means “with no doubt” and “unambiguous.” The House passed a watered-down resolution mentioning Alfred Dreyfus, Leo Frank, Henry Ford, and “anti-Muslim bigotry”—and a bunch of other bad -isms—that never even mentions Omar.

Read more at Federalist

More about: Anti-Semitism, Congress, Ilhan Omar, U.S.-Israel relationship

 

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy