by WorldTribune Staff, August 18, 2019
During a February interview on MSNBC, Michael Moore declared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the leader of the Democratic Party. On Aug. 16, the leftist filmmaker said Democrats will triumph in 2020 if AOC and “the squad” are embraced as the party’s leaders.
“Let’s hope that Alexandria and Rashida and Ilhan and Congresswoman Pressley are the face because that’s how we’re going to win,” Moore said on The 11th Hour with host Brian Williams.
“We’re going to win with people who believe that climate change is real,” Moore said. “We’re going to win by getting behind people who want to raise the minimum wage, who are going to fight for all these things that the American public wants. That’s ‘the squad.’ They’re the force out there.”
The “squad” includes the New York socialist Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Last week, Ocasio-Cortez said on Crooked Media’s “Pod Save America” that racists are a key part of President Donald Trump’s coalition and that his supporters aren’t smart enough to understand they are propping up racist policies.
“First of all, the biggest mistake that we have — and it’s a trap that gets set by the Right, whether intentionally or unintentionally — is just the frame of asking, ‘Is blank racist?’ ” the New York Democrat said.
“Like all winning political phenomena … they rely on coalition building,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So, Trump relied on a coalition, and a core part of that coalition were racists — building a coalition with all sorts of other people that could be susceptible to racist views if they were blanketed and layered and made people made feel good about it not being a racist thing.”
AOC continued: “So there are a lot of people that support Trump that genuinely don’t believe that they are racist because we do not talk about or educate people on recognizing racism. And because we do not do that we get caught in this debate of is something racist. Then people use their defensiveness, and they say, ‘Well, it’s not racist because I’m not racist and I believe this thing because it’s economic in nature.’ ”
Ocaio-Cortez added: “There’s a reason Donald Trump is using racism as a cudgel, because it’s how he gets away with his corruption. That’s how he steals the bag. He’s going to use racism. The reason he’s trying to center issues of race, of immigration, etc. is to sink the economic agenda. He’s trying to eclipse it. And the only reason that has power is because we refuse to talk about. And so race is going to be an issue, and the key is whether we’re going to allow him to define that conversation, or if we’re going to insert ourselves into that space and define that conversation.”
Trump recently brushed off accusations of racism from Democrats, noting that Ocasio-Cortez herself had even accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being a racist, after Pelosi criticized her.
“Her own party called Nancy Pelosi a racist two weeks ago. The word is so overused, it’s such a disgrace. And I can tell you I’m the least racist person there is in the world, as far as I’m concerned,” Trump said.
On the Aug. 16 The 11th Hour broadcast, Williams asked Moore: “Is the squad blameless for giving the president a steady stream of oxygen and ammunition?”
Moore responded: “I’m so glad he’s that frightened of them, both he and Netanyahu are scared of them.”
Moore continued: “This is why Trump isn’t as dumb as he comes off. I’ve always thought that we should treat him the way Patton looked at Rommel. He respected him. He read his book. He thought we’re only going to beat him if we understand him and actually respect his mad genius.”
Meanwhile, an Israeli official in an Aug. 16 tweet blasted Tlaib for rejecting the Jewish state’s offer to allow her to visit relatives in the West Bank.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri tweeted: “Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib just tweeted that she will not visit Israel. Last night, she sent me a letter asking me to allow her to visit her grandmother, who is in her 90s, because ‘this might be my last opportunity to see her.’ I agreed to this humanitarian request, but it turns out that it was just a provocation aimed at embarrassing Israel.”
Tlaib tweeted: “When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my city to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”
Tlaib continued: “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
Trump tweeted on Aug. 16: “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her “grandmother.” As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup? Israel acted appropriately!”
Trump added: “Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed that Tlaib and Omar would be barred from Israel, citing their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” Hotovely told Israeli public radio.
Israel in 2017 passed a law prohibiting a foreigner entry who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.”
In a Facebook post, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explained why Omar and Tlaib were banned from visiting: “As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel, as is the case with other democracies that prevent the entry of people whose perception harms the country. The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it.”
Trump had tweeted on Aug. 15: “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
The House of Representatives in July overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting the BDS campaign targeting Israel. Omar and Tlaib voted against the measure.
Omar previously introduced a measure countering the anti-BDS resolution which affirms Americans’ right to participate in boycotts, which Tlaib is a co-sponsor of.
Also on Aug. 16, Omar and Tlaib reportedly shared an anti-Semitic cartoon by an artist who participated in Iran’s Holocaust denial contest on their respective Instagram accounts.
According to Forward editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, Omar and Tlaib had each shared the image on their Instagram “stories.”
The cartoon shows Netanyahu with his hand over Tlaib’s mouth, and Trump with his hand over Omar’s mouth. Both leaders are shushing the congresswomen. A Star of David — the symbol of the Jewish faith — appears in the center of the image, “implying that Jews are responsible for the act of silencing,” Breitbart News reported.
“The image is antisemitic on its face,” Breitbart senior editor Joel B. Pollak wrote. “The theme of Jews controlling world leaders, who in turn do their bidding, especially in suppressing criticism, has been a common theme in antisemitic propaganda since Nazi Germany, and remains a frequent feature of antisemitic cartoons in the Arab and Muslim world. The New York Times faced criticism for a similar antisemitic cartoon it published in its international edition in April.”
Ungar-Sargon pointed out that the cartoonist, Latuff, won second place at a contest held by Iran in 2006 at which contestants drew caricatures denying the Holocaust.
“Iran has promoted Holocaust denial as official policy; its president at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was notorious for his habit of denying the Holocaust,” Pollak noted.