Howard R. Zern
Howard R. Zern

Democrats Must Play Hardball with their Party’s Antisemites and Enablers

Alcoholics first acknowledge they have a disease before recovery begins.  Democrats must now do the same with antisemitism in their Party.

There are too many examples of antisemitic speech and anti-Israel falsehoods by Democrats in Congress to list, or ignore: Jewish money influences Congress (“It’s all about the Benjamins;”) Jews have dual loyalty; Israel is apartheid; Israel has hypnotized the world. Sadly, antisemitic speech is becoming normalized within the Democratic Party.

While most antisemitic speech comes from a core group of five extreme left-wing House members known as the ‘squad,’ their numbers have grown to about 14.

Many in this group belong to the Justice Democrats. Others are associated with the Democratic Socialists of America.  Both are self-identified Marxist-socialist organizations whose cadres support radically changing the Democrat Party from within, or if unsuccessful form their own party. Given the background of the so-called squad, perhaps another euphemism might be considered.

They rose to dubious prominence because of a series of enablers:  The Democratic Party that permits them to run for office under their umbrella; an electorate who ‘pulls the lever’ for any candidate with a “D” next to their name; an indulgent media; and Democratic House members who do not call out antisemites in their Party by name (though some did, last month.)

Most surprisingly, the Speaker of the House, enabled this group’s antisemitic behaviors through a series of miscalculations since 2019: awarding them plum committee assignments, rendering a significant House resolution against their antisemitism meaningless, financially contributing to their reelection campaigns, admonishing a pro-Israel lobbyist for defending Israel against an antisemitic attack, and rationalizing antisemitic comments, e.g., the Representative immigrated to the U.S. too recently to understand the ramifications of her words (at age 12.) It is no wonder far-left members have a sense of invincibility.

Diane Lob, Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations remarked: “Much of the recent rise of anti-Semitism comes from discourse of the left-wing of the U.S. political system.” Antisemitic rhetoric on the House floor became a call to action to their sympathizers who marched this year by the thousands across U.S. cities attacking suspected Jews; trashing Jewish-owned businesses; and defacing synagogues after an Israeli defensive response to 4,300 Hamas missiles; The criminals did not differentiate Democrats from Republicans, or Zionist from non-Zionist Jews; a sober reminder of Kristallnacht.

The purpose of this antisemitic political discourse and the ensuing riots was to intimidate members of Congress and Jews.  Apparently, it’s working.  We can no longer ignore the rise of the ultra-left, who disguise their extremist and antisemitic views and tactics under the banner of social justice, any more than we can ignore the far right; there is little difference.  Ignoring and even rewarding antisemitic behaviors guarantee those behaviors will only get worse.

Democrats need to finally acknowledge their disease and take action. The Speaker needs the courage to put ‘her Democratic house in order’ by removing these antisemites from their committee assignments. If not, Democratic House members should take a lesson from their left-wing colleagues’ playbook and vote against the Speaker’s key legislative initiatives until she removes them.  While it would be appropriate to include the IHRA definition of antisemitism in the House’s rules, at the very least President Biden must publicly call out all antisemites by name, including those in his own Party.

If antisemitic hate speech can take place on the House floor, then what stops introducing racist speech……unless of course, there are different standards for Jews than there are for other minority groups.

About the Author
Howard R. Zern is a retired Executive Vice President at Fleet/ Bank of America and Simsbury Bank managing large-scale organizational change. He has published many opinion pieces letters and articles on the UN,,antisemitism, US foreign policy and the Middle East.
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