by WorldTribune Staff, March 7, 2019
As Democrats move on a resolution “opposing hate” which doesn’t mention Rep. Ilhan Omar by name for comments widely termed anti-Semitic, former Sen. Joe Lieberman warned Democrats that if they don’t root out bigotry in the party it could “take hold.”
Omar, Minnesota Democrat, said at a recent town hall that “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Omar currently sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on March 6 that “We’re working on a resolution. We’ll see when we bring it to the floor that we’ll again speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes. Our country has no place for this.”
Of Omar’s comments, Pelosi said: “It’s up to her to explain, but I do not believe that she understood the full weight of the words.”
Lieberman told Fox News that Omar’s suggestion that pro-Israel politicians have sold out America by pledging “allegiance” to the Jewish state is “clearly anti-Semitic.”
“When people say words that are biased, bigoted and hurtful to another group of people – another group of Americans – they have to be condemned quickly or else it takes hold. I’m not only thinking about anti-Semitism, I’m thinking about racism, I’m thinking about any kind of bigotry toward any religious group or any other group,” Lieberman said.
“But if they start to mumble in response to her specific and clear anti-Semitic statement, then the party itself is going to be held more broadly accountable for having similar feelings – which I know they don’t,” Lieberman said.
President Donald Trump tweeted: “It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against Anti-Semitism.”
A letter to Pelosi from the Endowment for Middle East Trust called for her to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“As the late Tom Lantos, a beloved mutual friend, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Holocaust survivor, who experienced anti-Semitism, first hand, often used to say, “The veneer of civilization is paper thin,” the letter concluded.
Writing for The Washington Times, columnist Cheryl K. Chumley noted that Omar’s comments are “problematic for two reasons: First off, supporting a nation financially and politically is not the same as rendering allegiance. Second off? As Democrat Rep. Nita Lowey tweeted: ‘Throughout history, Jews have been accused of dual loyalty, leading to discrimination and violence, which is why these accusations are so hurtful.’ ”
Chumley continued: “Meanwhile, look around. Anti-Semitism has been surfacing with alarming frequency at select spots around the nation.”
Inside Higher Ed reported in December: “Anti-Semitic incidents surge on college campuses after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting”.
“Left-Wing Anti-Semitism: The Greatest Campus Threat Is Ignored by the SPLC,” FRC.org recently reported about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s failure to adequately address the 1,700-plus reported anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses between 2015 and 2017.
And the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights said it has secured, in the last 13 years, “250 U.S. victories” with its Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign – the movement, commonly called BDS, that outright bars business dealings with companies tied to Israel.
“Watch carefully, America,” Chumley wrote. “First comes the talk, subtle, on the tongue of a serpent. Then comes the action. Finally comes the change in U.S. policy – and eventually, mass acceptance of what once was unthinkable.”
Omar’s defenders say that she was only criticizing the Israeli government’s policies toward Palestinians, or that she is being unfairly singled out.
Linda Sarsour, co-leader of the Women’s March – who’s been soundly criticized for her own anti-Semitic ties and remarks – slammed Pelosi on Facebook for even suggesting a resolution.
“Nancy is a typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men,” Sarsour wrote. “God forbid the men are upset — no worries, Nancy to the rescue to stroke their egos.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, said that Omar was “being targeted just like many civil rights icons before us who spoke out about oppressive policies.”