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HORIST: Anti-Semitism rears its head in Congress

HORIST: Anti-Semitism rears its head in Congress
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In a recent commentary, I raised the question of why Jews vote for Democrats by such a wide margin.  At that time, I noted the increase in the number of Democrats with pro-Arab sentiments – most notably, but not exclusively, among the new Muslim members of Congress.  Similar anti-Israeli sentiments have been expressed by others, including the over-exposed New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

I am not anti-Muslim, and I have no problem with people who are critical of elements of Israel’s domestic or foreign policies – or our across-the-board support for the Jewish state.  Many Jews are critical of the administration of President Benjamin Netanyahu.

There is room for diverse opinion in all matters of public policy – and to have such diversity represented in our legislative chambers is a good thing – not a bad thing.  BUT … there is a distinction between specific policy differences and a broader opposition to an important ally based on ethnicity or religion.  And when the problem becomes a matter of anti-Semitism.

Newly minted Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar recently set off the anti-Semitism alarm with a tweet in which she strongly suggested that support for Israel is based on Jewish money from a pro-Israel group – the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (which, incidentally, does not contribute to campaigns as she wrongly suggested).

The Omar criticism is a canard that has been used against American Jews for as long as one remembers – except it has been generally reserved for those back rooms where anti-Semitism flourishes in private conversations.  Paranoia over Jewish influence has been part of western society since the days of Moses – and with some of the most tragic consequences in human history.

Omar and Representative Rashida Tlaib, another freshmen Democrat, have both indicated their support for the “boycott, divestment and sanction” (BDS) movement against Israel on the basis that the Jewish State is an interloper in the Middle East (occupying Palestinian land) and is a terrorist state.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has declared that support for BDS is prima facie anti-Semitism.  Apparently, Omar Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez did not get the memo.

In the interest of decency and the fact that the Democratic Party cannot afford to drive away too many of those Jewish votes, the congressional leadership came down fast and hard on Omar.  In a virtually unprecedented joint statement against a member, the leadership – including Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark – said that “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks, and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

What was noteworthy about the leadership statement is that it was not coy – suggesting that Omar was misunderstood or misquoted.  The title atop the statement made it perfectly clear.  It read: “The Democratic Leadership Statement on Anti-Semitic Comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.”

With the entire political world … well almost the entire political world … coming down on her, Omar had little choice but to apologize.  In her mea culpa, Omar suggested that her comment was the product of naïve innocence.  She said, “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes…”

As a woman whose personal and professional focus has been on the situation in the Middle East – especially as it relates to the Arab-Israeli conflict – it is not credible for her to claim such immature naivete.  And it is not consistent with her past.

Also, her abject apology was walked back a bit when she said, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil-fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”  As is typical of the left, they rail against only the lobbying organizations with which they disagree.  How does Omar feel about some of those other big money lobbying organizations, such as labor unions, the national education associations, Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women?

Those who wish to get passed this politically awkward moment for the Democratic Party – to sweep it under the rug, so to speak – there is an eagerness to accept the apology and move one.  Some say it is one of those “learning moments.”  (You Know, like when a Democrat governor is caught wearing blackface in his college yearbook.)

If there is anything that has been learned it is the breadth and depth of anti-Semitism that is coming to the surface through the more radical elements of the increasingly left-wing Democratic Party.  While Democrat leaders point to their Party’s diversity, some of that diversity is nothing to brag about.

What cannot – and should not – be swept under the rug is the fact that this was not some outlier, out-of-context misstatement by Omar.  It is just the latest in her history of statements against the Jewish state and the Jewish people.  Someone on social media resurrected what appears to be a 2013 tweet by Omar which says, “Israel has hypnotized the world.  May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

During a campaign appearance at a Jewish temple, Omar promised to be even-handed in dealing with Israeli-Palestinian issues.  She expressed opposition to the DBS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel.  Following her election, she reversed her position which stated that she supports BDS.

What has become obvious is that Omar will not be even-handed in terms of Israel.  Her views favor Arab and Palestinian interests and are in opposition to the nation of Israel and its people – nationally and theologically.

What Omar did that cannot be undone is to bring to the surface the underbelly of American anti-Semitism.  Social media was flooded with messages in defense of Omar’s statement – including attacks on Pelosi and others who demanded a retraction and an apology.

As might be expected, the perennial cretin of American politics, David Duke, rose to Omar’s defense, tweeting, “So, let us get this straight.  It is ‘Anti-Semitism’ to point out that the most powerful political moneybags in American politics are Zionists who put another nation’s interest over that of America ??????”  Or maybe Duke’s alliance with Omar should be unexpected in view of his attitude toward Arabs and Muslims.  It must be one of those ‘enemy of my enemy’ situations.

It would seem that not all of Omar’s support comes from such obvious anti-Semitic haters.  Ashley Feinberg, a writer for the Huffington Post tweeted, “Accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-Semitism.”  Of course, Omar did not accurately describe how the Israel lobby works.

To say that the Middle East situation is complex – and that the American public reaction to it is even more complex – would be an understatement.  But what is clear is that – apologies aside – is that Congresswoman Omar is no friend of Israel and the American-Israeli alliance.  For her to claim otherwise would be pure chutzpah.

So, there ‘tis.

 

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WASHINGTON — Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been battling charges of anti-Semitism for weeks, apologized on Monday for insinuating that American support for Israel is fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group — a comment that drew swift and unqualified condemnation from fellow Democrats on Monday, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” she said in a statement that she released on Twitter. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

She added, “I unequivocally apologize.”

Her comments came after Ms. Pelosi and the entire House Democratic leadership issued a statement condemning her.

“Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” the five House Democratic leaders said in a joint statement. “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments. As Democrats and as Americans, the entire Congress must be fully engaged in denouncing and rejecting all forms of hatred, racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever they are encountered.”

Ms. Pelosi said she had spoken with Ms. Omar and said they “agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”

In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

19 Comments

  1. Diane B Crosier

    Why is this traitor allowed to serve in the US Congress? She is definitely anti-semitic and is against Israel. This is not what America stands for. She needs to be relieved of her position in Congress.

    Reply
    • Jeannie

      There should not be a terriorist affiliated Muslim in our country little lone our Congress. Has the American people already forgot 9-11 ? She also has committed immigration fraud. Since when doe the American people recognize marriage between brother and sisters. As Americans we better stand up and demand our laws be enforced. In the last 10 years not one law in our goverment has been inforced.

      Reply
    • Betty Poole

      You’re absolutely correct ! This woman needs to be sent back where she came from . She doesn’t represent what America stands for ! We have more than share of traitors in our government . She has to be removed from Congress, Pronto !!

      Reply
    • Marc m

      Omar is awesome!! She is right.
      America needs to get rid of nitwit low IQ idiots, starting with trumpie, and deport all of them.

      Reply
      • Lisa

        It’s obvious that you misunderstood all the other replies. We want Omar relieved of her duty in Congress. Due to her hate of The Israelis and I wouldn’t be surprised if she also hates Americans. I am disgusted by the people who voted for her to join the US Congress. Did anyone check for voter fraud in Minnesota? They really should.

        Reply
  2. Luis D Rey

    Larry H., lovely writing and explanation, yet I am not afraid in saying that I AM AN ANTI-RADICAL MUSLIM, a.k.a. MUDSLUMS.
    I also concur with Diane B. Crosier.
    These three “Jerk-as” or whores, NEVER for the life of me, shouldn’t be in The Congress, two of them ought to go back to Somalia and Palestine and the other Idiot AOC should be torched by that useful and Progressive Idiot, named Bill deBlasio (Bill disgraceful) and or burned at the stake like a modern witch, lol.

    Reply
  3. Luis D Rey

    Larry Horist,
    Curious:
    Are you a bleeding Demon-crap too?

    Reply
  4. Muury Joseph

    Modern Anti-Semitism has nmany Disguises,
    We remember ands debunk them all ands;
    NEVER AGAIN

    Reply
  5. miles e drake

    Mogadishu Mandy is not a critic of the Israeli government: she holds the same views and has the same plans as the circulators of the Blood Libel, the authors of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and the organizers of the Final Solution. This hanky-headed Hitlerite intends for the Jews to be wiped out completely, and then means to kill Christians in sufficient numbers to make the Western countries mohammedan. Anything else she says is simply taqiyya. the practice. sanctioned and in fact mandated by the prophet, by which muslims can lie to the infidel so that the unbelievers let down their guard and can be conquered, enslaved, beheaded or clitoridectomized. The democrat leadership needs to be recruiting primary challengers for this incestuous illegal alien and her fat homie from Michigan, Republicans should pour money into these districts to support any candidate with a chance of beating them and serious efforts must be made to win or hold the Michigan and Minnesota legislatures so that the pocket boroughs of marxists and mongrels that sent them to Congress can be reapportioned out of existence.

    Reply
  6. Robert Cohen

    Love your commentary on racist Omar. Her colleague-in-hate, Tlaib, use to write for Farrakhan.

    Reply
  7. Marsha Miller

    Please continue to point out the obvious two faced Democratic party! I am a Republican and so happy President Trump’ s family shows the real face of American society! My family is made up of adapted Chinese daughters, adopted biracial granddaughter and biracial great grandchildren. I worked for a wonderful Jewish doctor who helped me become a stronger Republican! If the information as this article with authority presents can be multiplied there IS hope to alleviate racism of the Jewish community!

    Reply
  8. Carolinatarheel

    She should be removed immediately!

    America First!

    Reply
  9. John

    The democrats love them because they have the same mission as the democrats, to destroy America, and make us a socialist society. Democrats are too dumb to understand that when the destruction is complete, the Islamists will continue, having gained enough power to force Sharia Law on the country and then kill everyone who will not convert to Islam. Americans better wake up. Destruction is closer than most people realize. We must get back to basics and start standing for America.

    Reply
  10. ox

    Omar belongs in the nearest landfill.

    Reply
    • marleen davis

      Along with Tlaib and all their cronies.

      Reply
  11. Ron

    Why isn’t Minnesota embarrassed by their choice of representatives? I believe they should recall her.

    Reply
  12. Navy PO2

    Proof that the Demoncrat Party is anti-Semitic!

    Reply
  13. marleen davis

    What a joke,, this time on the gullible so called leaders of the democraptic party. Pretending to believe that potty mouth Omar and then what, let Tlaib spout hate next, then sort of apologize, then have it go on and on and get worse and worse. This is ridiculous and traitorous! The democraps are foolish and fooled by these few big mouthed isis invaders and don’t have the guts to do anything. And probably, because they won’t they will lose the entire house, the senate and most states. I’m glad for that but these criminals still have their encampments where they are teaching the children to cut off our heads and the hate of America. We need to stop this insanity and get these traitors out of our Republic now!

    Reply

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