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Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D-Minn.) comment that the influence of the Israeli lobby in Washington pushes lawmakers to take a pledge of "allegiance to a foreign country" was bad enough. A watered-down House resolution condemning not Omar but "all hatred" was as tepid as denouncing drunk driving.

After heated debate within their caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership released a separate statement: "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."

Omar complied, but this is not the first time she's had to walk back controversial comments about Israel.

In 2012, Omar tweeted: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."

The implication was that Israel and its backers are being manipulated to support the Jewish state. This old anti-Semitic trope will be familiar to anyone with a minimal understanding of the history of the Jewish people and the genocidal goal of their enemies. Yes, Omar apologized, but not until she got to Congress. This assumes her apology was more political than sincere. Consider her appeal to Allah. Why would she, or any Muslim, disobey Allah?

Sarah Stern, who heads Endowment for Middle East Truth, which bills itself as "a Washington, D.C.,-based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance," emailed to say, "We Jews have learned from our long and painful history that words matter. Violence against Jews does not erupt in a vacuum; and the increasing ease with which anti-Semitic comments are uttered within certain segments of our society is deeply painful and disturbing."

That truth can also be seen in Israel where Palestinian Arafat Irfayia, the prime suspect in the murder of Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher, was indicted last week. World Israel News reports his explanation for stabbing and then raping the girl: "Because she was a Jew." The publication says Irfayia left his home in Hebron with "the express intention of killing a Jew."

You have to be taught to hate, as Oscar Hammerstein wrote in the musical South Pacific, and hatred is at the heart of anti-Semitism, most notably in radical Islam. It can only get worse if those who harbor anti-Semitic sentiments--like Omar and her colleague and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)--are elected to Congress.

According to The Daily Caller, Maher Abdel-qader, a key fundraiser for Tlaib, shared an anti-Semitic video which described Jews as "satanic."

The clip included this comment: "Research the truth about the Holocaust, and you'll definitely start to question what you thought you knew." The video's narrator went on to question whether 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. The Caller writes, "Abdel-qader shared the video both on his personal Facebook page and within the group that now includes Tlaib."

Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S., told Mark Levin on Levin's radio show: ". . . the Democrat Party has shown a lack of will to tell the truth of the Arab-Islamist war against Israel. In a recent BDS vote to stop BDS, boycotting Israel, the innocent Israel, half of the Democrats voted against that bill. Virtually every Republican voted for it. . . . So we have a real problem with the Democratic Party."

In a New York Times column last week, Bret Stephens, who is Jewish, wrote: "If Pelosi can't muster a powerful and unequivocal resolution condemning anti-Semitism, then Omar will have secured her political future and won a critical battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. At that point, the days when American Jews can live comfortably within the Democratic fold will be numbered."

I wish, but the history of Jewish loyalty to the Democrats is long, which is a mystery since in the end we are again talking about their survival, not just as a Middle East nation, but as a people.


Cal Thomas is a columnist for the Tribune Content Agency.

Editorial on 03/13/2019

Print Headline: Democrats' Jewish problem


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  • mozarky2
    March 13, 2019 at 6:22 a.m.

    And Nanzi Lugosi stands mute while the Kommie Kids Kaucus accuse her party of Islamophobia...hilarious!

  • Foghorn
    March 13, 2019 at 7:42 a.m.

    Omar is spot on.

  • Morebeer
    March 13, 2019 at 9:42 a.m.

    What? No room in the column to point out the GOP’s supreme leader’s cozying up to neo-Nazis and other vitriolically anti-Semitic groups?

  • Foghorn
    March 13, 2019 at 10:10 a.m.

    What about Israel’s murderous dictator’s comments: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed [in July 2018], Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people – and not anyone else.” He single handedly proved Omar is spot on.

  • Packman
    March 13, 2019 at 10:46 a.m.

    Ilhan Omar is no different than a person brainwashed into white supremacy in terms of being taught to hate. She truly believes Jewish people to be evil and Israel to be the symbol of Jewish insolence. Democrats are playing with fire by circling the wagons to protect her blatant hate speech. For all practical purposes, they might as well be protecting the speech of the Grand Wizard of the KKK.
    Foggy supports hate speech. Not surprised.
    Hey morebeer - Your rush to whataboutism shows the article to be spot on.

  • GeneralMac
    March 13, 2019 at 11:33 a.m.

    and her Muslim constituents are soooooooo proud of her back in her district located in "little Somalia" of Minneapolis.

  • GeneralMac
    March 13, 2019 at 11:37 a.m.

    I just did a search and no surprise....."the twin cities is home to the largest Somali population in North America"

    She is "preaching to her choir" aka "riling up her base"

  • Morebeer
    March 13, 2019 at 12:33 p.m.

    Pack, my point is, a freshman congresswoman who makes anti-Semitic comments and belongs to a party with prominent Jewish leaders (Schumer, Nadler, Wasserman), says less about her party than a president who praises neo-Nazis. Nuance, dude, nuance.

  • Foghorn
    March 13, 2019 at 5:54 p.m.

    Omar’s comments weren’t anti Semitic. They were in opposition to Israeli foreign policy. There’s a big difference but most Israel apologists don’t want to admit it.

  • Packman
    March 13, 2019 at 6:14 p.m.

    Hey Foggy - Omar’s remarks about Jewish politicians and dual loyalty had nothing to do with foreign policy and everything to do with straight up anti-semitism. You are either too dumb to grasp the difference, are lying, or are yourself an anti -Semite. Which is it?