For Jews in the Democrat Party, it’s not about the content of your character

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King believed in an America that would judge people by the content of one’s character. That was one of his dreams. But in large part, that dream is teetering.

The Left/Progressive movement engages in identity politics – a tactic that characterizes and orders people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation or other member grouping so as to provide a class of victims immune from responsibility for their own actions. While the ultimate goal of equality and anti-discrimination across the board is worthy, it is slowly ripping apart the fabric of our society

But there is still one pernicious, ancient form of discrimination that is seemingly immune from these categories: Jew-hatred, i.e. anti-Semitism. Jews are considered successful, white people and thus sit at the top of the privileged class according to progressive dogma. Thus they cannot possibly ever be considered as victims, despite consistent evidence that they and their institutions are persecuted, terrorized and attacked more than any other group.

The old anti-Semitism, openly expressed: Jews are demonic, evil and are engaged in blood libels. The new anti-Semitism: Israel, the state of the Jews, is demonic, evil and kills babies.  But if you single out only Israel– the tiny, sole nation state of the Jewish People– for opprobrium; delegitimize it such that it has no right to exist; then in the words of MLK again, “If you are talking anti-Zionism, you’re talking anti-Semitism.”

But things have devolved now to the point that it has become acceptable to allow the barbarians inside the gate.  What is happening before our eyes inside the Democratic Party is a shonde and will be a more horrific shonde if the 70+% of Jews who vote Democrat don’t stand up and put an end to the reign of terror before it is too late. Will they check their Judaism at the door and stay in the party, and “take the heat” on the altar of political-correctness (and hatred of Republicans and Trump)? Or will they hold the party accountable and stop giving support and their votes?

According to the Gallup Poll (March 2019), while close to 76% of Republicans said they sympathize more with Israel, only 43% of Democrats said so. The Democratic Party is now being steered by its most progressive/leftist elements who have cowed and intimidated their still majority and more mainstream members. They are embodied by the new, energetic, loud fresh faces of freshmen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib (a Palestinian Muslim) of Michigan and Omar. Indeed, Rolling Stone magazine put Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Omar and AOC on its front cover.

One Jewish Democratic congressman, Ted Deutch from Florida, did eloquently speak out on the floor of the House of Representatives to forcefully state that it shouldn’t be so hard to singularly condemn the anti-Semitism spewing from one of their members– Rep. Ilhan Omar from Minnesota — a Muslim and refugee from Somalia, who this country embraced, but who expresses nothing but disdain and ingratitude. Among the anti-Semitic stereotypes she promulgated was the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and that Jews were buying influence, i.e. “it’s about the Benjamins.” But, yea, it was so hard.

Discouragingly, and unsurprisingly, the party caved in to their demands. Instead of issuing a specific condemnation of the anti-Semitic statements from Omar over the past few weeks– with her fake, insincere apologies that she was forced to make, and the association of these congressmen with the likes of Louis Farakhan- the Democrats issued a broadly based anti-bigotry resolution, in which anti-Semitism was hidden among many enumerated bigotries (tellingly, Islamophobia made an appearance because Omar- who unprovoked instigated this affair- is Muslim and any criticism of her was being turned into anti-Muslim behavior –just like criticism of Obama was considered racist).

Here is the relevant section of who this anti-bigotry resolution is aimed at:

Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponized hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence;

But why did there even need to be another motion about white supremacy and white nationalism when there was a specific one passed by the House only weeks before in light of Republican Rep. Steve King’s comments (H.Res. 41 January 15, 2019)?

But Omar was not named as the perpetrator and cause of this entire affair. Nor has she been punished: removed her from her coveted position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where she is privy to some the country’s most sensitive security details.

The parallel “whataboutism” of the Republican Party finds that they stripped Congressman King of all committee assignments. Had a Republican made the hateful anti-Semitic comments that Omar made, not only would the House resolution have condemned anti-Semitism in general, but named the member in particular.

Jews should know better than most that hateful words lead to hateful actions, and that accepting anti-Semitism is the tip of the iceberg and can lead to Nazi-like behavior. But it’s even worse: many Jews have publicly spoken out in support of Omar, thus becoming enablers. If the Jews in the Democratic Party don’t stand up now, loudly, forcefully and decisively, the strength and security of the Jewish community and the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is at serious risk.  If Jews don’t get tough on this, it will tough going and tough for them to be tough on anything.

About the Author
Lee S. Bender co-authored a book, “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z” (Pavilion Press) with Jerome Verlin, and has been speaking about anti-Israel bias and activities to numerous schools, synagogues, churches and civic groups, and written dozens of articles published in local and national media. He is Co-President of the Zionist Organization of America-Greater Philadelphia District, a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia, Israel Advocacy Committee of Jewish Federation among other organizations. A former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney, he has been in private practice as a trial attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1995.
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