Michael Goodwin: Can the Democrats ever get over their anti-Israel bias?

Whew, that was a close call. But now that Democrats have pulled back from the brink of unchecked anti-Semitism, they can return to their regularly scheduled programming of routine anti-Israel bias.

The vile tweets of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar about Jews, money and dual loyalty were forcefully repudiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others, though their decision to merely scold her means Omar remains on the Foreign Affairs panel and has a prominent perch from which to peddle her BDS B.S.

Any doubt that Omar will do just that was erased in her defiant “apology,” which included another snide reference to AIPAC where she compared its lobbyists to those of the NRA and oil industry.

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“It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” she concluded about all three. She also continues to retweet complaints from others who charge they, too were falsely accused of anti-Semitism after criticizing AIPAC, a sign she considers herself the victim of what, Jewish power?

The problem going forward for Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has multiple tentacles, and they overlap in Omar. She succeeded Keith Ellison, who freely associated with Louis Farrakhan, as did other Democrats, meaning a significant number of elected officials are comfortable with the most notorious anti-Semite in America.

Recall the long-suppressed photo of a grinning Barack Obama with Farrakhan. Imagine if Donald Trump or any other Republican had . . . you get the point.

Another new Dem, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, once wrote a column for Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam publication. And some supporters with her when she declared her intention to “impeach the motherf–ker,” meaning Trump, believe Israel has no right to exist.

To be clear, not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, and as a nation state, it should generally be held to the same rules and norms we expect from others.

While there’s not always a bright line between legitimate criticism and veiled anti-Semitism, a consistent one is when someone says Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, or demands policies that would lead to the same outcome.

As a test, the next time you hear someone make such comments, ask what other countries also have no right to exist. Chances are you won’t get an answer, just an assault on Israel over its treatment of Palestinians or some other supposed injustice against mankind.

And let’s not waste time discussing the United Nations, where the general tone is that the world would be a better place if Jews would disappear.

Even the anti-Semites among Democrats don’t go that far, at least publicly. But much of the party, and many of its young members, are guilty of singling out Israel for condemnation while ignoring the same practices by other nations.

Or, conversely, they criticize other nations -- say, for harsh treatment of gays or making women second-class citizens -- without acknowledging that Israel is an excellent exception in the Mideast.

Most revealing is that many Dems will never make a strong, straightforward case for Israel. Any defense of it is begrudging and often whittled to nothingness with criticisms of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or of Israeli settlements or the ultra-Orthodox.

In their own ways, these Democrats resemble NeverTrump Republicans, who must acknowledge something nice about the president. They’ll do it, but they’d rather bite off their tongues.

This persistent double standard reflects a bias so common, it is no longer noteworthy. Especially on college campuses and other far-left hangouts, Israel is just a colonizing power, a bullying nation of white interlopers oppressing nonwhites. The comparisons to South Africa’s apartheid system are routine -- and ridiculous.

Ridiculous because they deny history, as if Jews just showed up in Jerusalem after the Holocaust. Those who spew such nonsense are also ignorant of the Bible -- or perhaps they see the Bible as an oppressors’ version of history.

They also understand nothing about the dynamic economy Israel has created, a mighty engine that goes beyond the well-documented tech industry. The first time I was there, in 2000, there were concerns about fresh water, especially with Syria trying to divert water on the Golan Heights.

Now Israel is a leader in desalination projects. And it has made the desert bloom by treating sewage water and reusing it for irrigation.

With its offers of a two-state solution rejected for nearly two decades by Palestinians, Israel has forged remarkable diplomatic and security alliances with Arab states. And it has developed trading relations with China among others in Asia.

Democrats dare not admit or admire any of these accomplishments, nor can they acknowledge the real cause of the Palestinians’ plight: the failure of their leaders to take yes for an answer to Israel’s offer for a separate state.

The rejections and insults of President Mahmoud Abbas toward Trump have added to his people’s misery yet there is no challenge to his leadership, or even a free vote. So where is the American left’s outrage about the violence and intimidation of ordinary Palestinians?

As for Hamas, what advice do college leftists have for how Israel should deal with a terror group whose charter pledges to eliminate the Jewish state? After all, these college snowflakes can’t even bear to hear a thought they don’t agree with, yet they act as if they have the answers to Mideast peace.

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That is the Democrats’ ultimate problem. Their party is now largely secular, angry and radical, and moving away from its Judeo-Christian roots. The trends are more pronounced now than they were 10 years ago, and we can only imagine where the party will be 10 years from now.

Against this madness, give Trump his due. He embraces Israel for the miracle and strategic ally it is, and boldly moved our embassy to Jerusalem. And so far, when it comes to standing with Israel, the Dems looking to challenge him in 2020 offer no competition.

CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING MICHAEL GOODWIN'S NEW YORK POST COLUMN