My, how the noxious weeds are proliferating in America. From Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton & Louis Farrakhan to Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, & Linda Sarsour (one of the leaders of the 2017 Women’s March) to the BDS movement on college campuses, the scourge of Anti-Semitism is taking deep root in certain segments of the left and the Democrat Party. (“A Shameful Tolerance”)
After posting another clearly Antisemitic tweet, this time about Jewish money, specifically AIPAC (American-Israel Political Affairs Committee), influencing elections (“it’s all about the Benjamins, baby”) freshman Democrat Representative Ilan Omar (D-MN), under intense pressure from Republicans and Democrats, was forced to issue an “unequivocal apology” for her offensive behavior. Although it took several hours for Democrat Congressional Leaders to publicly condemn Omar’s tweets, it should have taken only moments. And, while Omar tweeted what she deemed an “unequivocal apology,” one usually does not explain away the apology in the next breath.
Perhaps what is so disturbing about this whole incident, apart from the fact that there is apparently a new raging anti-Semite roaming the Halls of Congress and serving on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, is that Rep. Omar feigns ignorance that her statements directed at the Jewish people and Israel were somehow offensive. She needed others to point this out to her:
“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.” (Ilhan Omar Apology Tweet)
That’s nice. She doesn’t intend to offend all Jews, just some. Let me get this straight. Before her “Jewish allies and colleagues” educated her, Omar feigned ignorance of Anti-Semitic tropes. She is either lying or she is so willfully ignorant that she has no business being a member of Congress. Omar certainly should not have been given the plum assignment of serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee. I’m sure that the Democrat Leadership will strip her of that role. Well, on second thought, I know that won’t happen. And, it will only embolden more rabid Anti-Semitism within the party and in the country.
Instead of coming up with new and clever ways to mask her bigotry, perhaps Rep. Omar should spend some time around Jewish people. She might actually learn a thing or two not related to politics, spin, or damage control. I could share my own experiences with her, but her “standing strong” (against what? AIPAC? The Jewish Lobby? Israel?) might get in the way of her “listening and learning.”
Prior to attending college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., I had never really been around very many Jewish people. In the small town in Florida where I grew up, we simply did not have very many families who were Jewish. As a life-long Southern Baptist Christian, I was well acquainted with the Jewish heroes of the Bible, including the Patriarchs and Prophets in the Old Testament and Jesus and the Disciples in the New Testament, but my personal experience interacting with Jewish people was practically non-existent.
That all changed when I met who would become my roommate and best friend in college, Bob Golbert. Along with Bob and so many of my Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity brothers & little sisters, and college classmates, I forged lifelong friendships that endure to this day. I can honestly say that some of my best friends are Jewish. Although there was much to learn about Jewish customs and religious practices, no one had to teach me that being an Anti-Semite was wrong. I didn’t have to learn not to spew hateful, bigoted rhetoric at my Jewish friends. Despite our religious, cultural, and sometimes political differences, it never occurred to me to treat my Jewish friends any differently than I would want to be treated. They call that the Golden Rule, but, in America, it should just be part of the civil compact that we have with one another. One can still have honest policy differences, even with respect to the lawful, legitimate Jewish state of Israel, without resorting to vile Anti-Semitic tropes.
It is a sad day in America and in the Democrat Party when members of Congress openly, virulently, and proudly espouse Anti-Semitic bigotry. While many Americans, rightly so, were concerned about the weeds of Anti-Semitism growing in the garden of the Alt-Right, the noxious weeds of Anti-Semitism in the garden of left, the Democrat Party, and Academia were allowed to grow and proliferate. It’s much easier to pull a few noxious weeds now rather than waiting until the weeds have completely overtaken the garden. That’s the dilemma that confronts the Democrat Party today. Will they ignore the weeds of Anti-Semitism until it’s too late or will this latest repugnant episode stir them to action? It shouldn’t take a long-dead President to remind us that Anti-Semitism has no place in America, much less the Halls of Congress.