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The Democratic Party is now as hostile a place for Jews as Labour


AT the beginning of January I wrote that the election of the terrible trio – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – into Congress was a sign that the Democrats, like the Labour Party, are embracing anti-Semitism.

The only difference between the two is the incredible rate at which the Democrats have been overtaken by this racism. Last Thursday (7 March) the Democratic Party, in an attempt to tackle growing anti-Semitism within their midst, introduced a resolution straight out of the virtue signalling playbook.

The resolution was supposed to condemn only anti-Semitism but Speaker Nancy Pelosi capitulated to young Democrats who protested against this protest against anti-Semitism, as ludicrous as it seems. Thereby proving that hatred of Jews and Israel is thriving among the millennial generation and tolerated by their elders. By condemning all forms of hate, including disingenuous claims of Islamophobia, this resolution is reminiscent of Shami Chakrabarti’s 2016 report on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, in which she linked anti-Semitism with Islamophobia and other forms of racism. This minimises the perceived impact that anti-Semitism has as well as assigning equal victim status where none exists.

As Melanie Phillips has pointed out, Islamophobia is a made-up word used to shut down legitimate criticism of Islamism.There should be no comparison to anti-Semitism, which is based on lies and bigotry. That those who cry Islamophobia the loudest often harbour anti-Semitic views shows exactly why the two cannot, and should not, be equated.

There is only one minority group being subjected to increasingly violent and relentless attacks – Jews. Just like Chakrabarti’s report, this House of Representatives resolution is a whitewash. The resolution also conflated attacks on Jews with attacks on Muslims and other minority groups, and singled out ‘white supremacists’ as the sole reason for anti-Semitism and racism. But the Left and their fellow-travellers, Islamists, are far more responsible for the rise in anti-Semitism than the far Right.

If the causes of anti-Semitism are ignored in favour of politicking and the perpetrators not sanctioned, the problem cannot be fixed. The Democrats’ argument over the use of specific language in the resolution is a troubling echo of Labour’s squabbling over the wording of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism. It is only those who have a problem with Jews that wish to quibble with semantics when it comes to anti-Semitism. If semantics are more important to the Democratic leadership than combating anti-Semitism, Jewish party members must surely acknowledge that they are in a hostile environment. And that it is time to leave the party.

Omar and Tlaib are CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) entryists in Congress, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Why would any moral person want to stay in a party which accommodates those who hate the West and Jews? The fact that the terrible trio were nominated to stand and then elected into Congress shows how far the Democrats have lurched to the far Left and capitulated to Islamism.

Jewish Democrats who assert that they will stay and fight for their party need to learn from Labour’s descent into a quagmire of racism. It is futile to ‘stay and fight’. It’s way too late. Given its rapid descent into Islamist-led anti-Semitism, the Democratic Party is now as hostile a place for Jews as Labour. Both party leaderships are either complicit in anti-Semitism or tolerate it in a bid to cling to power.

Pelosi also weakly attempted to excuse Omar’s anti-Semitism by saying that she has ‘a different experience in the use of words’ and ‘she doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning‘. How reminiscent these words are of Jeremy Corbyn’s effort to explain why he took part in a wreath-laying ceremony honouring Palestinian terrorists responsible for murdering Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Corbyn illogically claimed he was ‘present’ at the wreath-laying but not ‘involved’ in it. 

Pelosi has granted Omar a childlike status and removed her personal agency from spreading racism. But Omar has lived in the US since 1995 and has a university degree. She knows exactly what she is doing.

This watered-down resolution will only embolden the terrible trio in their virulent anti-Semitism. A few days after the resolution was passed, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign department sent a fundraising email to millions of her followers claiming that the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is ‘coming after’ Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib. In a masterclass of manipulation, they regurgitated a well-known trope of the all-powerful Jew while turning the race-baiting trio into victims.

That Labour and the Democrats made Palestinians their cause célèbre shows they are willing participants in the push to destroy the world’s only Jewish state, accompanied with tropes and libels lifted from medieval beliefs about Jews and echoing the Nazis’ demonisation of Jews.

Obsession with the Palestinian cause has led to the Left imbuing all Muslims with a victim status, a practice that the terrible trio are adept at playing up in their attempts to shut down criticism of their anti-Semitism.

If the Democrat leadership were truly serious in combating anti-Semitism, why does Omar still have a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee? This committee overseas oversees US foreign policy and aid to countries such as Israel. It’s extraordinary that Omar passionately expresses her desire to uphold human rights when she is a willing advocate in taking away those same rights from Jews. And thanks to Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership, she will have the perfect opportunity to do so in her place on the committee. Israel is at the front line in battling Islamist terrorists like those who blow up little girls attending concerts in Manchester. If Israel falls it won’t only be the Jews made vulnerable to Islamist terrorists, but the entire West.

The Democrats are repeating every misstep taken by the Labour Party in capitulating to anti-Semites. It’s as predictable as watching a child paint by numbers.

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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