Harold Ohayon
A Wandering New Yorker

A Hijacked Ship of Fools

A truly disgraceful thing occurred in the United States yesterday, when the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning all forms of bigotry. On the surface, such a motion holds much merit. However, when taken in the wider context of the resolution’s inception, the ridiculousness of it all becomes quite apparent.

Following the 2018 elections, a new wave of liberal lawmakers marched into Washington. They held many banners promoting many radical stances, but one thing that seemed to link them together is their animosity towards Israel and their sugar-coating of anti-Semitism. New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for example, lambasted Israel’s occupation of the West Bank during a TV interview, but then was unable to explain why she felt the way that she did. A symptom of many anti-Israel advocates, she had little to back up her animosity and instead parroted widely used slogans for her own political advancement. Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib decorated her office with a map that had a note labelled ‘Palestine’ placed over Israel. And now we come to Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota. Omar has a long history of riling up Jewish hackles. When she was a local politician, Jewish groups met with her and left the meeting feeling as if she did not take their concerns seriously. Since then, she has spewed foul and vile anti-Israel views on social media on a frequent basis. And this brings us to why the House of Representatives issued their statement condemning bigotry.

Over the last several weeks, Ilhan Omar has said a few questionable things that have veered into the realm of anti-Semitism. She accused politicians of being bought when it comes to their support of Israel, which many saw as anti-Semitic because it implies Jews use money in order to control US policy. This sparked an uproar, and she made a faux apology. Shortly there after, she again spouted nonsense and implied that those that support Israel hold dual loyalties. This charge has been used against Jews for centuries. Once again, an uproar ensued and her apologists claimed she didn’t understand what she was saying. That excuse holds no water, however. She has a pattern of beliefs that she always stands by. This was not a one-off gaff, and it is disgraceful that many in the Democratic Party are rushing to defend her. In the aftermath of this latest comment, members of the House felt the need to issue a statement against anti-Semitism. Appropriate and much needed, indeed. But the fringe movements within the party took offense at this because they did not want to condemn Ilhan Omar. So they moaned, they kicked their feet, and they acted like petulant children until the resolution became watered down by condemning every imaginable ‘phobia’ known to the lexicon of human misdeeds. And so, at the end of the day, a resolution that condemns racism, homophobia, islamophobia and anti-Semitism passed in the House of Representatives.

Shameful. Totally and utterly shameful. The text of the resolution sounds like countless other resolutions that came before it. Racism is bad. Homophobia is bad. Yes, we all know these things to be true. But the reason this resolution was drafted was because of anti-Semitism. Not because of attacks on sexual minorities. But the fringe movement within the Democratic Party has taken it hostage and refuse to condemn a member of their own group. So instead of condemning the guilty offender, the resolution takes aim at white supremacists instead. While it is true that white supremacists do do unspeakable and horrific things, they are not the ones that forced this resolution to be created. It was Ilhan Omar, a Somali American, who caused the controversy that made this resolution needed. But the resolution became useless because instead of focusing on the problem of anti-Semitism in America, it became bogged down with many other things that distract from the issue at hand. Are we not worthy of a resolution? Can we not have a moment for our own grievances? This is a troubling sign of things to come. One only needs to look at the UK Labour Party to see what unresolved anti-Semitism within a political group can lead to. I hope the older and wiser Democrats within the party stand up and take back control of the ship before this ship of fools become another Titanic.

About the Author
Expat New Yorker living in the Land of the Rising Sun: Trekking to random parts of the globe, debating countless things under the sun, and attempting to learn to cook Korean food.