Monday during a news interview, Rep. Omar, D-Minn., accused Israel of refusing her and fellow congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., entry because they’re “the first two Muslim American women elected to Congress.” Omar has taken it to social media accusing Israel of implementing “Trump’s Muslim ban.” A calumny echoed by supposedly responsible Democrats, Democrats such as Tim Kaine, D-Va., Senator who tweeted “Benjamin Netanyahu, Drop your Muslim ban.” Sorry, it’s not a Muslim embargo; it’s an anti-Semite ban.
Israel’s choice to ban the two U.S. congresswomen was an error because it has given them a much larger platform from which to strike Israel. But let’s be blunt: There is nothing irrational about Israel’s decision to refuse entry to politicians who promote its destruction. If Omar and Tlaib can boycott Israel, why can’t Israel do the same and boycott them?
Omar says Israel’s ruling intervenes with her ability to do her work “as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.” Maybe so. But the dilemma is not that Israel denied admission to a member of that board. Instead of that, there is an anti-Semite serving on that committee.
Omar has said that when she overhears people proclaim Israel a democracy, “I almost chuckle. Israel has hypnotized the world”; she’s announced her hope that Allah will “awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Supporting a boycott of Israel, a country she has related to Nazi Germany. Accused her House associates who support Israel of promoting “for allegiance to a foreign country.” Also argued that backing for Israel is “all about the Benjamins.” She later apologized for the last remark, but not all the others, before or since that one.
How is it that she proceeds to sit on the congressional panel that helps set U.S. policy toward Israel? When Rep. Steve King protected white-supremacist views, the GOP power in the House removed him of his committee responsibilities. The House voted 424 to 1 in support of a resolution punishing the Iowa Republican. Even though Omar made virulently anti-Semitic remarks, Democratic leaders in the House could not make themselves to do the same.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, D-Calif., actually defended Ilhan Omar’s “allegiance to a foreign country” remark, saying “I don’t believe it was meant in an anti-Semitic way.” I’m sorry, what another way could Omar have intended it? Can you picture if Republicans had protected King, saying “I don’t believe it was intended in a white-supremacist way?”
Like Omar, Tlaib has challenged her colleagues of dual loyalty, a classic anti-Semitic comparison, declaring “they forgot what country they represent.” She advocates a one-state solution, which means she disagrees with the very existence of the state of the Jews, Israel. Tlaib wrote for Louis Farrakhan’s publication, the Final Call, which regularly publishes anti-Semitic screeds. And, according to the Anti-Defamation League, she requested a Palestinian activist attend her swearing-in who has glorified Hezbollah and Hamas and has equated Zionists with Nazis.
Omar and Tlaib revealed their true colors when they decided not to follow a bipartisan congressional committee to Israel at the beginning of this month in favor of a trip planned by Miftah, a rabidly anti-Semitic organization that has attacked Jews of using “the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover,” has published neo-Nazi propaganda challenging “the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale” in quotes and has rejoiced with terrorists who murder Israeli kids.
And, as though to justify Israel’s point, after being rejected entry, the two congresswomen distributed a cartoon on Instagram shared from an anti-Semitic cartoonist page. The cartoonist placed second in 2006 for an Iranian newspaper’s Holocaust cartoon contest.
The fact that Democrats abide, and even embrace, Omar and Tlaib are dreadful. And it leads to a more significant problem. There is anti-Semitism on both the left and on the right. On the right, anti-Semitism reveals itself in skinheads marching in Charlottesville, shouting, “Jews will not replace us!” On the left, anti-Semitism displays itself in Democratic members of Congress who compare Nazi Germany to Israel.
But while right-wing anti-Semites remain on the political fringes, where they belong, on the left anti-Semites have made their way within the halls of power. The Democratic Party’s leaders are defending them. Many of the same Democrats who correctly criticized President Trump for his weak response to Charlottesville are now openly supporting and defending Omar and Tlaib.
Pelosi called the decision to ban the pair “beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel.” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., cautioned that “it will only hurt the U.S.-Israel alliance and support for Israel in America.” a Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, proclaimed it “a shameful, unprecedented move.”