If you are shocked at the Democratic Party’s timid response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s numerous anti-Semitic remarks, you shouldn’t be. It just means you haven’t been following Democratic politics, and more specifically, progressive politics, the last few years. This is the end result of a party that has become infected by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement targeting the state of Israel’s right to exist, and the progressive movement that has embraced the absurdity of intersectionality and moral equivalency.
There is a reason that Nancy Pelosi lacks the courage to forcefully denounce Omar’s rhetoric, and lacks the will to remove her from the Foreign Affairs committee, as the GOP did to one of its own who engaged in racist rhetoric. It’s called the politics of self-preservation and expediency.
A not insignificant amount of the progressive base, the small donor base, and grassroots workers of the Democratic Party adhere to the BDS movement. This movement is not simply a movement that disagrees with some of Israel’s policies. It is a militant anti-Semitic movement that ultimately seeks to bring down the state of Israel. No other state is targeted the way Israel is, and it is targeted because it is a Jewish state. Apparently Muslim states are fine with the BDS movement, but a Jewish state is not.
Some argue that you can disagree with the state of Israel and not be anti-Semitic. Of course. That’s like stating the obvious to the simple-minded: you can disagree with much of what the American government is doing and not be un-American. That’s not the point. The point is that when you deny Israel's right to exist as a democratic Jewish state, when you demonize Israel and attempt to delegitimize it, when you use anti-Semitic rhetoric and tropes used by the Nazis, you really are ultimately denying the right of the Jewish people to protect themselves from future genocide. Period. Full stop.
There is something insidious to all of this: the BDS movement has made it acceptable to many on the left to accept anti-Semitism as somewhat normal. BDS really is the gateway drug to anti-Semitism. All one must do is look to college campuses, where the BDS movement has gained a significant foothold. When you hear students and professors call out “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew,” you would be forgiven if you thought you were reading Nazi propaganda. You were not. You were reading a comment made on the anonymous Yik Yak app by someone at the University of Chicago regarding the passage of a BDS motion on the Northwestern campus.
What is clear is that while anti-Semitism is sadly on all sides of the political spectrum in this country, it is only on the left that people advocating anti-Semitism have gained positions of power.
This is a problem not only in the United States, but across the world as well: in January of this year, Justin Trudeau came out forcefully against the BDS movement in Canada, calling it “anti-Semitic and contrary to ‘Canadian values’” and followed up by “accusing it of intimidating Jewish students on university campuses.”
What is clear is that while anti-Semitism is sadly on all sides of the political spectrum in this country, it is only on the left that people advocating anti-Semitism have gained positions of power – like, say, an anti-Semite gaining a position on the House Foreign Affairs committee. By not forcefully condemning Omar’s anti-Semitism, by allowing her to stay on Foreign Affairs, by not condemning the BDS movement, the Democratic Party is helping mainstream anti-Semitism. What is troubling for students of history, of which it appears many on the left are not, is that the real secret to Hitler’s rise to power and acceptance of his politics was making anti-Semitism acceptable among the “polite middle class” in Germany.
But at least many Americans still find this unbelievable that a major political party in the United States lacks the courage to name the offender and denounce her comments. It is still unbelievable that not too long ago, the overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, would have stated loud and definitively, “Never again!” But now, confronted with the worldview of Omar, the Democratic response has been, “It’s not that bad.”
Further weakening the Democrats’ ability to forcefully condemn Omar is the party’s acceptance of intersectionality and moral equivalency. When you claim that every worldview is equally good and acceptable (but you really mean to denounce anything Western), and when you justify anti-Semitism because Omar previously lived in and escaped from persecution in another country, and that her life experience and demographic make her a victim, you lack the ability to definitively denounce such things as anti-Semitism.
Take for example one of the most staggering statements by Democratic leadership, made by majority whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., regarding Omar. He said her experience “is much more empirical -- and powerful -- than that of people who are generations removed from the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during WWII and the other violent episodes that have marked history.” And there you have it. In the process of telling the Jewish people to check their privilege, Clyburn somehow believes that Omar’s experiences as a Somali refugee are the moral equivalent – actually a morally superior position – to the horror of murdering of six million Jewish people. Rep. Clyburn forgets that Holocaust survivors are still with us, as are their children: one of them sits in the Congress in his caucus.
That, my friends, is how far the Democratic Party has fallen. It is tolerating itself to death. It’s become clear that the Democratic Party has become the party of infanticide, socialism and anti-Semitism; in short, a moral cesspool. In its current iteration, it deserves to be deserted in droves by voters. Perhaps a soul-sucking loss in 2020 will wake up the party before it's too late, but I doubt it.