The Democrats Have (At Least One) Openly Anti-Semitic House Representative. Now What?

The Democratic Party’s female, Muslim Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, was openly anti-Semitic before she was elected, but her party was too busy celebrating her as a triumph of diversity to notice. And really, don’t we need some diverse opinions about Jews in the House too? Shouldn’t anti-Semites have representation too?  Actually, they are well represented in the new Democratic class, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) also making her bias clear. Thus Rep. Omar felt comfortable in tweeting, in response to muckraker Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Tlaib and her own trope about big money Jews controlling international policy and business has been the bedrock of anti-Semitism for more than a century, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!”  When asked to explain where the money she was referring to came from, Omar tweeted: “AIPAC.” Her spokesman then said the tweets “speak for themselves.”

This is a tricky time for Democrats, who thrive on painting the other party as sexist, racist and intolerant and who now are trying to find ways to explain why it has two blackface artists and one twice-accused rapist filling out the top three political positions in Virginia. Would it shrug off turn-back-the-clock claims by a Democrat that Jewish money controlled U.S. policy?

Amazingly, no! Speaker Nancy Pelosi  co-signed a statement with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA), saying

“Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception, We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. 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. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

The GOP’s recent slap-down of perpetual embarrassment Steve King for his pro-white nationalist statements made this response more necessary than sincere, perhaps. The American Jewish Committee demanded an apology, calling Omar’s suggestion that AIPAC is paying American politicians for their support “demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic.” The organization pointed to a 2018 Gallup poll showing that 64 percent of Americans sympathize with the Israelis over the Palestinians.  “American politicians are pro-Israel because Americans are.”

Isn’t this all just posturing though? As blogger Allahpundit writes, “Let’s not pretend Omar isn’t getting a speaking gig at the convention next year. Or that she won’t get a standing O from the crowd when she walks out.” No, Steve King will NOT be speaking at the GOP convention. And what, exactly, does it mean when a blatant anti-Semite like Omar apologizes, saying, as she did in a tweet,

 “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. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize. 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.”

Does anyone believe that she is suddenly  not virulently anti-Isreal, and hostile to Jews? Some Democrats are not fooled, if anyone is. Two Jewish House Democrats,  Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Elaine Luria of Virginia, are gathering signatures on a letter calling on  Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and other senior Democrats to confront freshman Reps.  Omar and Tlaib by “reiterating our rejection of anti-Semitism and our continued support for the State of Israel.” They write,

“As Jewish Members of Congress, we are deeply alarmed by recent rhetoric from certain members within our Caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged us and called into question our loyalty to our nation. We urge you to join us in calling on each member of our Caucus to unite against anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes.”

Will Democrats dare to act as decisively against two “women of color” who are selling hate to their constituents as Republicans acted against King, whom they stripped of committee assignments? Here’s a wild guess:



Sources: The Lid, Allahpundit, Ed Morrisey

35 thoughts on “The Democrats Have (At Least One) Openly Anti-Semitic House Representative. Now What?

  1. To be brutally honest I believe we should stop being offended. Instead of demanding apologies the group seeking an apology should have them put up or shut up.

    Demand that Omar back up her claim that AIPAC is paying bribes to elected officials. If she fails to do so call her out for making false claims. Lets demand that all people leveling accusations put up or shut up. If you want to claim racism focus on the act not the person. It is the act that must be debated as to its being racist. Stop inferring motivation without investigation. When you can document numerous instances of bigotry and intolerance by a specific person then Ok state they have a history of bigotry.

    When conservatives begin playing the victim card- I’m out. Let them speak so we know who they really are.

    • Who’s offended? The question is what a party stands for, and what values it is serious about. Democrats posture about racism and discrimination, but allowing palpable bigotry in their ranks undermines trust.

      • Will Democrats dare to act as decisively against two “women of color” who are selling hate to their constituents as Republicans acted against King, whom they stripped of committee assignments? Here’s a wild guess: No.

        Of course, no. They will alienate a significant portion of their supporters, and not just Islamic haters of Israel. African Americans, as a group, are far more likely than whites to hold anti-Semitic views — the ADL surveys in 2013 showed that:

        * While overall African American anti-Semitic views are declining, they hold these views at almost double the rate of the general population

        * Hispanic immigrants (including illegal immigrants) have anti-Semitic views at more than double the rate of US born Hispanics, and four times the rate of the white population.

        These are two major constituencies of the Democratic party, the party of inclusion, equality, diversity and racial harmony. Women are a third.

        So do we really expect the Democrats to alienate such large portions of their coalition by dragging female offenders like Omar to repentance consistently? That would be nice, but I’m about as likely to flap my arms and fly out for a first-hand view of Ultima Thule.

        They’ve made their show. Next time this happens, no matter who it is, the rationalizations will fly like a murder of crows.

        • I can confirm that the amount of Jew-hate among the “woke” African-American population is disturbing. The closer one’s ideology is to 5%ers or the Nation of Islam, the more likely one is to hate Jews and/or believe wild conspiracy theories. I used to perform hip-hop music for a living and shared the stage with plenty of “revolutionary” performers who were loud and proud about it.

        • Did I miss something, or did I seriously make it through that essay and all of its comments without a single mention of Omar’s party affiliation and district of representation?

      • Jack, my point is don’t play the offended card which is exactly what Congressman Rose and others stated. Screw that such statements are “hurtful”. Put on your big boy pants and demand the statement be proven or retracted. I don’t care if the accuser is Muslim or Jew, White or Black, Hispanic or Asian, male or female. Demand that such statements be backed up. Demand the leadership state unequivocally if such comments reflect their positions. Make them look foolish. Make them eat their own.

        I am getting tired of these people dancing around the issues with bullshit platitudes. If your ranks reek of bigots purge them or be tainted with the stench they leave on you.

        So Omar apologizes. She just hides behind some statement that belies her true feelings.

    • Demand that Omar back up her claim that AIPAC is paying bribes to elected officials.

      But she did not say that. Others say that she said that. What they do is (if you will permit the example) what the former contributor Chris used often to do: rephrase a statement so as to give it the worst and darkest semantic sense possible. Then, go on rants against that. It is a very strange form of fallacious argumentation!

      If you really wanted to understand what Omar meant, you’d have to show an open-minded interest and begin a process of enquiry and investigation. It would take some time and energy.

      But there are many other issues here, too. I will try to mention them. One is that Omar is Muslim. And she tends to side with those who have open-border positions in American politics. And I think she represents a growing constituency in certain regions of America. In themselves these are complex factors. This obviously complexifies whatever position she has about Israel and its occupation.

      The other issue — a giant one! — has to do with ‘media control’. This means *the businesses and the constellations of corporations that control what information is distributed to information-consumers and who has charge here*. What “MSM” means in our present is the structure of power that controls and determines how everything pertaining to *our world* is seen and understood. Now, if you want to, and also if you have the courage and intellectual fortitude to do so, you could look into and develop views and opinions on the depth of influence about Zionism and Israel within these *media systems*. I would suggest that you do this, not only because you might be influenced to see the truth more objectively, but also (or perhaps “if only”) to know better what you are up against.

      The Internet is allowing people to research information and to by-pass the MSM Systems. This does lead into another complication: accessing information that is slanted and skewed. But, it clearly does allow any given person to discover and consider positions that are completely shunned by the MSM and not ever allowed to be thought about and considered. (I have mentioned the anti-Zionist activist Miko Peled as a good, solid example of this: a very important Israeli family, deeply involved in the founding of the State, who yet developed an anti-Zionist position).

      One important thing that must be noted about our present, it seems to me, is the complexity and confusion of the *narratives* that are woven. But especially when they intersect. A Muslim having anti-Zionist ideas and opinions and which opinions may be supported and accepted by people outside of her *interest-area*. Or feminists within her own part and ‘interest-area’ who are activists for overturning social systems that are restrictive to women. Or, the relationship of the Black Muslims to anti-Zionist (and anti-Semitic) positions. The levels of confusion augment. And it takes a superhuman effort to separate them out and think each one through separately (and fairly).

      • Aliza,
        Of course she did not come outright and claim bribes are being made but AIPAC is a special interest group that works to advance their interests. Omar stated it was all about the Benjamins which is a slang term for cash money. The definition of a bribe is money paid to obtain a special favor from an official that would not generally be available to the public.

        When she related AIPAC’s activities with cash that implies bribery. CAIR operates as well and spends money for its activities but no one is suggesting they are using cash to directly influence votes.

        If you read my point I said that people making claims such as these need to put up or shut up, and the accused should stop being offended and hurt and fight back by debating the “offending ” thesis.

        I am being fair and demanding that if you throw rhetorical hand grenades be damn sure you can back up your claims and if you can’t then tbe party needs to decide whether to keep you or cast you out.

        • OK, here I suggest is at least some part of a ‘backup’. (I have already covered much of this ground years ago … )

          James Allsup on Ilhan Omar.

          And James is what I would call a New Conservative and a MAGA sort of guy. He has a good mind and (I think) makes a good deal of sense. Note that he politically opposes Omar and yet is explaining the AIPAC issue (I think fairly).

          • I have no issue with anyone pushing their POV. I draw the line when the position’s foundation is predicated on some factor that suggests their proposition won’t be given fair consideration because of some unfair advantage of another. Or, criticism is rooted in racism, sexism, or some other form of bigotry. That is what the Congressman did. She did not focus on the merits of the Palestinian peoples arguments she claimed that her position was being discriminated against because of a big money jewish lobby.

            • She did not focus on the merits of the Palestinian peoples arguments she claimed that her position was being discriminated against because of a big money jewish lobby.

              So, in your view (and to quote a common term) there is no ‘powerful Jewish/Israeli lobby’?

              The issues that are prominent today do not have to do with money and large amounts of it? What about these vast sums of money that go to Israel, for example in this year? Are there not *interests* interested in protecting the flow of those billions?

              Is it really a crime to have used the term ‘Benjamins’? (you might not have gotten the reference with the *musical notes* in her Tweet to It’s All About The Benjamins. (A truly detestable rap song that operates on one like Chinese water-torture!)

              [ ]

              • Aliza, we pour money into all areas in the world. She cannot argue about powerful lobbying organizations without condemning the ones that support her causes.

                We provide similar support to Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other muslim countries for military support and humanitarian causes. To suggest we only support Isreal is disingenuous. If you want to argue if we should try to promote stability in a region as we have been that is a subject for debate.

                I know what its all about the Benjamins means. It is a redux of money talks bullshit walks. Their is a minor difference in that the rap reference glorifies being paid off.

        • Oh thank God. I thought “Benjamins” was some sort of new Anti-Semetic slur as in Richard Benjamin, or some character from the Old Testament. Whew!

          And by the way, I see Richard Benjamin has been married to Paula Prentiss (and vice versa) since they met as undergrads at Northwestern. Good for them. That’s ethics hero stuff for movie actors.

  2. Well, let’s see: there was the headline, and the first sentence: “The Democratic Party’s female, Muslim Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar”….

    Is the fact that she’s from Minnesota relevant in this matter?

    • I was unclear. Your essay was clear. I clicked on some of your links (I don’t recall which now, but I got directed to a story that completely omitted that info). That was what I meant to convey.

      Is the fact that she is from Minnesota particularly important? No. But, a common practice after someone’s name would be to add (D-MN).


  3. Omar felt comfortable in tweeting, in response to muckraker Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Tlaib and her own trope about big money Jews controlling international policy and business has been the bedrock of anti-Semitism for more than a century, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” When asked to explain where the money she was referring to came from, Omar tweeted: “AIPAC.” Her spokesman then said the tweets “speak for themselves.”

    This is a paragraph that is a kind of *knot*. You have to carefully untie it and separate out its parts — then talk about each part — before it can understood for what it insinuates.

    It is taken as an absolute and sure fact that to have a counter-Israel stance, or to be anti-Zionist, or to question Israel’s policies or actions, can only be an expression of anti-Semitism. This is false on the face. However, there are definitely people who establish this as a fact and as truth. They do so for specific reasons. If that can be established as a *fact* and as a *truth* then, effectively, anyone who expresses anti-Zionist or counter-Israel opinions is an anti-Semite. And, to be called an anti-Semite is even more deadly than to be called a *racist*. It should be obvious that through these tactics any ‘reasoned dialogue’ (as a commentator on another recent post mentioned) is rendered impossible, and that is the goal and object.

    There is a very interesting — a very revealing — scene in an American Postwar film The Best Years of our Lives (1946) which was drawn to my attention by a podcast comparing it with It’s A Wonderful Life>

    The message here is quite strange really. The war was fought in order to preserve the right to *our freedoms* as they are called. Yet, the message is clearly that if you do not have the right opinions — the right view, the right narrative — you will be punched in the face and totally shunned. I suggest though that in this specific instance, and for reasons that can be rationally explained, one must be a *supporter of Israel and Zionism* in our present or risk being shunned, black-balled, described as evil and demonic, et cetera.

    It is a most amazing social theater!

    Israel has a fantastic, a literally unprecedented, influence in and over American politics. Try to imagine any other foreign state with the same level of influence and the same open lobbying! (For example Russia!) And one of its primary vehicles is AIPAC (as every sane and rational person knows! and everyone in politics knows).

    But I would suggest that even more *powerful* and activist are the Christian Zionists. And they do so through a theological sort of *argument*. But to understand what Christian Zionism is, when and when it developed, how it modified and influenced theology, and how it gained such a huge following among American Evangelicals and thus has had a tremendous influence on America’s support for Israel . . . this requires careful study. (See for example Christian Zionism: Road-Map to Armageddon? by Stephen Sizer (IVP Academic, 2004)

    I would say that it is completely, thoroughly and with no doubt of any sort at all, totally and obviously proper, necessary and correct to be able to examine the relationship between the State of Israel and the nation of the US, and to do so through taking a critical posture.

    It is such a simple statement! and yet it is completely necessary that I be *punched in the face* for doing so. We have *free speech* of course — of course! — except when we look into certain questions, develop different views about them, and attempt to communicate those views. Then we don’t.

    • I think I’ve seen this thing before. I once endured the assertion that G.K. Chesterton was an anti-Semite. The basis for the claim was mostly that he had a (now, long-since dead) Catholic dislike for usury and that he claimed (rightly) that it was practiced predominantly by Jews. A motive was projected onto him by people who have no valid avenues of criticism but who want to criticize regardless. It leaves one wondering how hatred for usurious lending and hatred for a whole people came to be placed under the same term. The revisionist lies about the Crusades and Inquisitions certainly won’t earn me any of the same victimhood points, and those are actually lies.

      Rest assured, someone here understands what you’re saying.

      • I think that you might be interested in listening to this conversation with James Perloff on the podcast These Interesting Times of Tim Kelly. The two films It’s A Wonderful Life and Best Years of our Lives are discussed from a critical-Catholic position. It was as a result of this talk that I got a copy of Best Years of our Lives and watched it. (It is a good film).

        My view of what is definitely ‘radical material’ given the tight and restricting parameters of typical *allowed discourse* in America, is that these sorts of conversations come from real populism, which of course is a profoundly American category, but which has no venue of any sort that I can think of in the MSM. These conversations seem so subversive to all *allowed* categories of conversation, yet they are common sense based. But they do touch on discomfiting themes and ideas.

        ‘These Interesting Times’ podcast

        • I’d previously shied away from the Jewish bank/Freemasonry theories, but the more overt sociopolitical antics of credit card companies, the almost completely successful march through the institutions, and recently being made aware of the prophecies of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso (via Fr. Ripperger, of course) have me reconsidering looking into that rabbit hole.

          “I was afraid it would make me a neurotic, paranoid outcast”, said the Distributist, moral absolutist crusade and inquisition proponent. “You want to know how the standard Galileo narrative runs 180 degrees counter to historical fact? I’ll tell you, just don’t ask me about those blasted Freemasons!”

          I hope I don’t end up Sedevacantist. I can’t stand schismatic gibberish.

          One can’t simply choose ignorance, however.

          “Ghost of the Future,” he exclaimed, “I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?”

          No, Dickens’s Scrooge is too timid for this context. Truth and Being are One, and this all men know to be God. I will cede none of this sacred territory to the profanation of the infidel. Deus Vult!

          • My theory — even about Tim Kelly — is that they routinely exaggerate. He has another show called ‘Powers & Principalities’ and the fellow he does the show with is an *artist* of this specific form of exaggeration.

            What interests me about these *populists* is that they are making an effort to interpret their world from outside of proper and accepted interpretive structures. It is dissident hermeneutics. They know they are being deceived, as I suggest we all imagine that we are being deceived, and in order to hold onto their power and integrity that have to develop theories and explanations.

            One reason this becomes necessary is because of the levels of deception that are perpetrated by government(s).

            In the podcast I sent Perloff uses the term ‘Luciferian’. It is a complex, and laden, metaphysical term, but it is now in a late-stage usage and form. It is a term that comes out of Medieval scholasticism. Man is suspended, I guess one might say, between the leaden earth (the demonic realm) and the Empyrean upper-world (the angelic realm). That essentially emblemizes ‘man’s problem’. And he has to navigate this realm and these conditions. The Earth was actually visualized as the cesspool of the cosmos, where all heavy influences sunk.

            Add to that Medieval and late scholastic view of reality the notion of political Machiavellianism — all of Shakespeare’s villain-heroes were Machiavellian types where outward appearance contradicts inner-intentions — and it is not hard to see how easy it is to visualize ‘conspiracies’. We know that they are real-as-rain though if we have read either The Prince or The Discourses: they are routine matters of statesmanship. They are *givens*.

            But, we now live in a world where the pure, Medieval visualization of reality has lost the visual structure that supported it: earth at the center of the cosmos and the surrounding ‘spheres’ of influence which controlled the movements in the sublunar world. We don’t have a certain way of *explaining* either God nor angels, and thus we cannot in fact explain ourselves, or the explanation is in profound confusion.

            Yet, oddly enough, the Machiavellian demon is still (I’d suggest) vital and real. God may be (in fact) less *real* than people are willing to admit, but *the demons* are in certain ways more real. Corporations, governments, ‘black helicopters’, visualizations that have to do with aliens, lizard-creatures, and of course The Illuminati and yes The Freemasons.

            It is *the idea* about something essentially invisible that becomes concretized through a more specific visualization and description. I have often thought of Noam Chomsky as a non-metaphysical Machiavellian! But, he certainly *opens the door*, as it were, to all manner of different interpretive visualizations about *this realm*, and there is something addictive and seductive in his *book of evil secrets* about the real workings of power, the inner, demonic, Machiavellian determining structure.

            Enter into this *dynamic of visualization* — drum-roll please with kettle drums and dark, dissonant horns — the *notion of Israel* mixed with para-military and para-governmental operatives, and it is not hard to see and understand how people, in their *dark cave of perception*, and making genuine efforts to *interpret*, can visualize as almost a necessity the involvement of para-military operatives in the Events of 9/11.

            But people are *guessing* or cobbling together bits and pieces, or at the worst they deal with embellished, hysterical projections of the demonic entities that control this realm and — according to the metaphysics — have a unique ‘free reign’.

            [Personally, I do not think that the olden structure of view is, in fact, wrong or outmoded. Thus I can remain a *committed Christian*. But I do think that the structures and the forms of our visualizations . . . might need to be better understood as *representations*. It is a peculiar problem.]

            The description I just offered is the sort of view and understanding of the history of ideas and of metaphysics that can be gotten from, for example, Theodore Spencer’s Shakespeare and the Nature of Man. The idea I tend to work with, which I got from Basil Willey (and I get all of this from the influence of my brother in law who is, in fact, an accomplished philosopher of an unusual streak) is that: in order to understand our age we need a ‘master metaphysician’. It is sort of like asking for a philosophical amphibian! One familiar with *the olden order of conception* and one also familiar with the present metaphysical (or anti-metaphysical — which is really a metaphysics!) view of reality and ourselves in it.

            How to understand the present? and how to navigate it? Agonizing and very difficult questions, it seems to me. (With all the obvious connections to *ethics* and *morality*).

  4. In 2010 White House correspondent Helen Thomas, anything but a conservative, and much more respected than either of these Fatima-come-latelys, answered a rabbi’s questions about Israel with “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” and “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland…” When asked where Israeli Jews should go, she replied they could “go home” to Poland or Germany or “America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?” When accused of being an anti-Semite, she responded that she is a Semite, having an Arab background.

    She apologized, calling for “mutual respect and understanding” in the ME, but was immediately dropped by or forced from all employment of consequence, and reduced to writing the occasional op-ed in papers of no consequence until she died three years later. People literally couldn’t run away from her fast enough, like she had become radioactive. This was despite the fact that she was 90 years old, give or take, speaking off the cuff and not in a planned interview (though she doubled down on these comments later, presumably because she had nothing more to lose), and had come to be in a very different world than the world of 2010.

    It’s not even a decade later, and this woman, 37, speaking openly, who should know better than to spew hate given her life experiences, gives the whole anti-Jewish conspiracy line short of the blood libel publicly, and all she draws is a mild rebuke or two. Now she’s given a not-apology apology, and that’s apparently good enough, there will be no consequences, let’s all move on/turn the page/etc.

    This doesn’t say so much about her. Her background is pretty thin. She went to North Dakota State University undergrad, spend three years as a community nutrition educator, then got into politics by working on a city councilman’s campaign and things took off from there. Notably none of 38 bills she introduced while in the state legislature passed. She’s actually been accused of some campaign finance issues, but responded, not with proof, but with “We recognize how these folks are deeply invested in stopping a progressive, Black, Muslim, hijab-wearing, immigrant woman… We know these people are part of systems that have historically been disturbingly motivated to silence, discredit and dehumanize influencers who threaten the establishment.” Mmmhmmm.

    It does say a LOT about where the Democratic Party and the left generally have fallen to in the last decade. Competence, effectiveness, integrity, civility, even NOT hating others, all now take a back seat to identity politics and outrageous statements – as long as they’re directed at the right targets. This woman’s a one-stop inclusion shop, she can do whatever she wants and the left will defend her. Maybe they’ll rein her in now and then if she risks angering someone else who’s indispensable, but that’s just for now. In a few years she’ll be a committee chairman, and well on her way to becoming the first progressive, black, Muslim, hijab-wearing, immigrant president, and the left will swoon.

    • This shows a rather glaring *confusion* about identity and also about ‘location’ and alliance-allegiance. What the woman was saying (Helen Thomas) was that the real home of any given Jew was the place that they lived.

      But Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, says “To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home”.

      The whole question, the whole issue, leads into a nest of problems that are very difficult of solution. If Zionism is, shall I say, valid and proper and necessary, and Israel is Zionism’s state, then it simply follows that Jews will (or should) go to Israel. Millions in Israel advocate for that. Indeed, it is a religious tenet: the incoming (the Aliya), the Return, is a profoundly meaningful event within the Jewish view. It presages great things.

      This is just one of the reasons, among a dozen major reasons, why Zionism is so terribly complex and fraught.

      What Steve has written — interesting, nicely expressed perhaps, certainly considerable and relevant — is more illustrative of the *confusion of ideas* that exists in our present. Narratives that run at cross-purposes at times, then run together in unison, but which in the end point to ‘insoluble problems’.

      • Helen Thomas was the child of Lebanese immigrants, and a lifelong anti-Zionist and anti-Semite (though she later said Jews were not Semites), though she covered it well. She was hardly in a position to judge a people she had obvious disdain for.

        As for the question of Israel, it’s probably the third or fourth most difficult question in the world right now behind the meaning and purpose of life. The fact of the matter is that once the Jewish people had a national homeland that they maintained against all comers, then the Romans took it away (as they had done with many other nations) and dispersed them (less common). For almost 2,000 years they had no homeland and were despised wherever they settled. Then came the big redrawing of the map after the two world wars and the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, and finally a chance to actually make that homeland something more than just an idea, and the rest is history.

        I believe that the Jewish people having a national homeland where any Jewish person can come if he so chooses is preferable to them being a despised, marginalized, and maltreated minority the world over. I believe the logical place for that homeland is their historical land west of the Jordan and between Gaza and Syria. I also believe that it was proper to make the change that made this a reality when it was decided that the Ottoman Empire would be dismantled and the non-Turkish peoples of the empire allowed to form their own nations. I likewise believe that the people affected by these changes, like those affected by the partition between India and Pakistan, and like those affected by the conclusion of the Anglo-Irish War, should have been allowed to decide for themselves individually where they would go in this new scheme of things. That might mean accepting a different government, or accepting that things around you were going to change, or relocating. No one said that this type of change was easy or painless. The hope was that this change would lead to an at least somewhat more just world all the way around.

        Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to accept these types of changes. I can see why those who stood to lose from the change wouldn’t be, which is why those who stand to lose sometimes have to be compensated. However, those who simply refuse to accept the change and/or try to fight it have to be dealt with. Usually it eventually quiets down. India and Pakistan had wars, and still have nuclear weapons trained on each other, but the situation has pretty much stabilized, and each nation goes its own way. Northern Ireland was under either martial law or gang rule for decades. Eventually wiser heads realized that a violent overthrow of UK rule wasn’t going to happen and trying for one was just destroying everyone’s quality of life, so a settlement was put in place.

        For reasons partly religious and partly political, this situation remains intractable. Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel, but Syria doesn’t, which means the place still isn’t secure. None of these four nations really want any part of the PLO, and the PLO wants no part of any settlement. Nothing other than Israel and the elimination of the Jewish people from it will satisfy them. Saudi Arabia and Iran, on the other hand, are happy to keep feeding this no-settle position, and so are “useful idiots” in the west. Omar is one of those useful idiots. She really has no reason to embrace this position other than it’s the default far-left position. Her family is from Somalia, in Africa, nowhere near this conflict, and inserting herself into it benefits no one. Problem is, she grew up stuffing her head with hate, and now she can’t move away from it.

        • Although I have not researched this question, I am not convinced (merely by the declaration) that Helen Thomas is an ‘anti-Semite’. But, if you mean by anti-Semite anyone who opposes Israel and its policies (that is in fact what it means), then of course she is one. So then too is most of the planet it would seem.

          Here are a series of her quotes. I can’t find anything outrightly anti-Semitic here. However, to define anti-Semitism is difficult indeed. It is not at all simple. It really does require a number of months of study, maybe even longer.

          It is quite possible that Omar’s position about Israel and Jews is tainted. But the actual issue has to do with AIPAC and to the lobbying efforts by a foreign government in America with real consequences and ramifications for the US nation. I mean, if one wanted to separate it out.

          I think that one could make a short list and point out the problems of a foreign nation, with both dual nationals and nationals (of Israel) advocating for tremendous financial commitments to that foreign nation.

          But I do know that, in fact, one is not allowed to lay out the terms of the conversation as I have just done, and it is not allowed to develop a contrary position and to express it other than *on the fringes*. To do so is anti-Semitic . . .

          The *support of Israel* is perhaps one thing — anyone has a right to do that — but the machinations involved in a foreign power working to gain access and employ influence is really what is being talked about, it seems to me. And the way that this has occurred, and the depth of it, is certainly questionable.

          The other issues that you bring out are actually secondary and even tertiary. Yet I assure you that these questions involve far more than your American pragmatist’s view of the question! Especially when it comes to religiously defined questions.

  5. Why are so people surprised at Ilhan Omars comments or her non-apology, especially considering the Democrat party’s position on Israel over the years? The Democrats have been siding up to these people for years: They adore Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam – hell, Farrakhan met with Obama and other high ranking DNC officials on a number of occasions over the years. They hold Rev(!) Al Sharpton up as a paragon of racial inclusion, notwithstanding his comments about Jews or Israel and a whole host of other stupid things he has said and done. They have supported the good Rev. Jesse Jackson – anyone remember “Hymie Town” while the Good Reverend was on the 1984 Presidential Campaign Trail?

    More recently, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez gave an interview in which she spoke of supporting the oppressed Palestinians under Israeli Zionism only then to say, when things got really uncomfortable for her, that she is not an expert on Middle East politics. She was given a pass. Then, Rep. Rashida Tlaib openly declared that she would support withholding Israeli aid in response to what she perceived as discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in Israel.

    Rep. Omar gave a strange non-apology, only then to go on CNN and state this: “It’s not surprising. I think it is actually exciting because we are finally able to have conversations that we weren’t really willing to,” Omar told CNN on Tuesday. “It is really important for us to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like and the kind of difficult conversations we need to have about allies.” Here is a link:

    It is appropriate to criticize Israel for its actions, just as it is appropriate to criticize any other country, whether it is England, Ireland, Indonesia, Australia, Ecuador, or Suriname. Criticism and disagreement with a nation’s policy is not the same as being anti-said-country. Criticizing Israeli response to Hezbollah terrorist attacks is not antisemitism. It is simply criticizing the response. Likewise, it is vital and proper to criticize AIPAC, just as it is proper to criticize the size and scope of influence Planned Parenthood, the NRA, Big Labor and Big Education have over US foreign and domestic policy. To criticize AIPAC is not the same as antisemitism, either. But the comments by Omar and her cadre are, at their core, antisemitic. They contend that Republicans are being bribed by AIPAC to do its bidding in the US Congress, and that Israel wields ultimate control over US foreign policy in the Middle East. They also come from a position on Israel’s right to exist. These are the same people who lost their minds when the Trump Administration moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem.


  6. This is another one of those ‘this has to be from the Onion’ candidates.

    Omar is a Muslim woman who married a man in 2002, has 3 children with him and continues to claim he is her husband even though she married a different man in 2009 who evidence suggests is her brother. While campaigning and having the life of a public official, for 8 years she promoted one man as her husband and the father of her children while being legally married to a different man.

    This is a woman who has claimed that the hijab is ‘a choice’ but that House rules need to be changed for her choice, and claimed that the idea that women are not as physically strong as men a myth.

    As a devout Muslim, it is almost certain that she is anti-Jewish. It would indeed be hard not to be anti-Jewish in a religion where Allah declares that Christians and Jews are “the worst of creatures” and whose end-of-the world story holds that the Dajjal (Muslim anti-christ) will be born to a Jewish woman and lead an army of 70,000 Jews against the Muslims only to be killed by Jesus. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” She keeps tweeting anti-Jewish tweets because this is how she was raised, this is how people in her community think. She cannot wrap her brain around the fact that this is unacceptable in American society today.

    It is remarkable that the Democratic Party would highlight such a candidate. In recent memory, has the Republican Party every celebrated such a racist candidate?

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