By Carol Greenwald
Being an anti-Semite is no longer a disqualifier for being honored by the current Democratic Party. The cultural barriers against Jew-hatred, which American Jews believed protected them, shredded by today’s Democratic Party, are reflected in the echo chamber that is the mainstream media. There is a new tone in American politics, in the media and on university campuses, which should scare every American Jew.
On May 9, a virulent anti-Semitic imam, Omar Suleiman, was honored with giving the opening prayers at the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Democrats chose to ignore Suleiman’s past public statements which compared Israel to Nazis and called for the destruction of the state of Israel. Will we next see Farrakhan or Obama’s minister, Rev. Wright, giving the congressional invocation?
When the 2014 war in Gaza broke out, Imam Suleiman posted on social media: “God willing on this blessed night as the 3rd Intifada begins, the beginning of the end of Zionism is here. May Allah help us overcome this monster…”
Not one Democrat publicly complained that someone with these abhorrent views about a U.S. ally was honored by Congress.
Republican congressman Lee Zeldin of New York, tweeted: “Totally unacceptable that @SpeakerPelosi had Omar Suleiman give the opening prayer yesterday in the House. He compares Israel to the Nazis & calls them terrorists, supports Muslim Brotherhood, incites violence calling for a Palestinian antifada & the end of Zionism, etc. Bad Call”
The only reaction from the Left has been to attack critics as Islamophobes. This is the standard leftist tactic: accusing your opponents of what you are doing, just make your accusation louder. Suleiman is the racist, not those who quote his statements. The silence of congressional Democrats is telling.
Of course, none of the Democratic candidates running for president critically commented about the choice of this imam.
But this is consistent with their outrageous silence about the massive rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel last week. All of the Democratic frontrunners — former V.P. Joseph Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg — remained silent about the attacks. Frighteningly, they made the political calculation that it would not help them with American voters in the Democratic Party to stand up for Israel.
How can you claim to support Israel if you do not condemn Hamas for shooting rockets at Israeli civilians? The silence of these candidates suggests that their polling tells them that supporting Israel is no longer a winning position in the Democratic Party. Think about that.
Vice President Pence on Friday, May 10 called again for freshman congressman Rep. Ilhan Omar to be removed from the prestigious House Foreign Affairs Committee for making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments while in Congress. But there she remains, along with her aggressive supporter and fellow Jew-hater, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
But just because Democrats in Congress have concurred in elevating Rep. Ilhan Omar to the Foreign Affairs committee, that does not mean we, the voters, have to be silent. On May 20, at 5 P.M. in Times Square at 711 Seventh Ave in New York City, there will be a major rally demanding the expulsion from the Foreign Affairs Committee of Rep. Ilan Omar. The rally will launch a massive billboard in Times Square demanding: “Ilan Omar Must Go.” Check further information at www.IlhanMustGo.org.
While Speaker Pelosi insists that the three witches of Congress (Reps. Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez) are a minority and do not represent the Democratic Party, she continues to honor them. On Friday, May 10, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was given an hour to live out her fantasy: she took over Speaker Pelosi’s spot presiding over the House. A scary foretaste of the future.
In his article “Ilan Omar’s Anti-Semitism Wins the Pop-Culture Primary,” Jonathan Tobin concludes: “For some on the left, anti-Semitism is not a disqualifying factor if those who are guilty are in the forefront of opposing Trump. In this manner, anti-Semitism isn’t merely given a pass; it is actually being defended and legitimized on popular programs with broad audiences. If the late-night comedians are now ok with anti-Semitism (as long as it comes from a person of color who is an anti-Trump Muslim) then the cultural barriers against Jew-hatred that many of us assumed were still strong may really be collapsing.”