The Bigger Threat to Jews: Ilhan Omar or Trump?

The anti-BDS resolution passed almost unanimously. In a chamber of 435, only 17 votes against it. Let that sink in for a moment. The pro-BDS faction couldn’t even reach Chai! 418 out of 435 congressmen voted with Israel. They couldn’t even get Ayanna Pressley, 1/4th of “the squad,” to vote against the resolution. It is so far past time to put away the idea that American support of Israel is somehow threatened at any time but a long while. Even if a resolution in support of people’s freedom to boycott Israel had much more support, American support of Israel would not be threatened. The Americans supporting this are such a minuscule minority of the American population and if the movement truly grows, it won’t just be a result of American mass irrationality, it will also be a result of the mass irrationality of Israel supporters.

Where we are now is, in every way, the most familiar position in Jewish History. The “protected,” the model minority, the exception which shows that it is possible to rise in the world no matter how difficult the circumstances seem so long as you exert yourself with enough diligence and intelligence and practical sense – the only experience other cultures need to develop that sense too is 3,000 years of dodging genocides…. We are not the most powerful people in the world, but the most powerful people in the world depend on us. We are their “middlemen.” Their lawyers, their doctors, their accountants, their PR, their consultants. And consequently, however many rewards we get, whenever things go bad, we are the first to be blamed because its much easier to blame the help than the leadership. And eventually, everything goes bad. All social orders crumble, and however prosperous we think we are in any country in the entirety of world history, we are the first lambs to be thrown to the lions. What Trump does “for” us now is what Franz-Joseph and Bismarck did for us before Hitler and what the Romanovs and Polish kings did before Khmielnitsky.

So yes, when we hear Ilhan Omar say that we have dual loyalties, the urge is to panic. But the only way we fall into the hands of Ilhan Omar is by panicking so much that fall into the agenda of people with 1,000x as much power and whose record of using that power for murder is so infinitely longer at this point.

Yes, it’s incredibly irritating to hear the detention centers compared to the Shoah. Who cares. Yes, it’s incredibly irritating to hear Republicans be compared to Nazis. Who cares. Yes, it’s incredibly irritating to hear the same people who dismissed every Hitler comparison for decades employ it now the way an alcoholic uses beer. Who cares. The world demands more of Jews. Other groups may rage at the double standard and can look forward to a day when the double standard is lifted. Our continued survival depends on the double standard for us being firmly held in place. We’ve now survived 2,000 years past our natural death as a people, and we’ve done it by expecting worse treatment than other people expect. Any Jew who thought this era wouldn’t eventually be the same as any other era was delusional.

The Trumps do not have our interests at heart, they do not have any sympathy with our story, they are exploiting us to energize millions of brain dead followers, and they are declaring war on our enemies so that we will absorb the fire that would otherwise be directed at them. The more attention Trump gives to what the Ilhan Omar’s and Rashida Tlaib’s, and yes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s too, the more Trump makes them the voice of the Democratic party, a voice who will take the Democratic party down the road of old resentments and unfulfillable promises and apocalyptic scare tactics, and by giving them that voice, the worse the Nancy Pelosi’s and Jerry Nadler’s and Adam Schiff’s do: experienced liberal figures who might, Hashem forbid, produce results instead of promise accomplishments so sweeping that, could they ever even be achieved, would inevitably backfire.

Ilhan Omar has not been a public figure for more than six months. I already loathe her, and I eagerly await the day when she is just a vaguely recalled name from the past. I am 90 to 95% sure that Ilhan Omar is, in her heart of hearts, a proud Jew-hater. If, Hashem forbid, a Shoah were ever to come to America, I would not even trust her to be in a room with a Jew and a plastic knife. Five years before she became a congressman she made a public statement: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She called it a regrettable statement. Fine. I was willing to forgive it. Everybody is much too concerned these days with finding the proof in somebody’s evil in their past statements or even in their vaguer actions. Back in February, she then made a dogwhistle statement about America’s support being ‘all about the Benjamins’, meaning $100 bills. Fine. I’ve heard worse, and she apologized. And then, the next day(!!!), she made another statement that was so much, much worse about how American Jews have ‘dual loyalties.’ Why a democratic socialist who necessarily believes in internationalism would be concerned about whether or not Jews are loyal to this country is already confusing, but when you put the actions of those two days together, there is no way out of seeing the intent to mainstream antisemitism into American discourse. This was a premeditated publicity campaign, probably coordinated between a number of new Congress members. If you don’t hear the blood libel in it, the charitable interpretation would be that you’re fucking deaf. I doubt I need say what the uncharitable one is…

But even after all that, who the fuck cares? It’s just words, and no matter how many pitchfork-and-torched mobs of people say otherwise in 2019, you cannot possibly locate the next Hitler merely by looking at what they say. Yes, every Hitler will say terrible things, but not everybody who says terrible things will become Hitler. Even anti-semites deserve protection, and if Jews want to remain as practical as our reputations, it is especially antisemites who need our protection. Whether Ilhan Omar is a vile antisemite or not, she is currently in danger of becoming a martyr. If any harm comes to her person, her causes would go into the mainstream of discourse instantaneously. And whether or not the next mass-murderer of Jews is someone we already know like Ilhan Omar, or someone quite far to her right, that person would reveal himself as what they are very, very quickly; and every person accustomed to seeing Jews as successful would be stunned by how little power we have to stop them.

The only responsible action is to support her against Trump 100%, to completely deplore and REJECT Trump’s voice of support against her and any other form of antisemitism that Lili-Putin would use for crocodile tears on our behalf. You can no more call yourself a friend to the Jewish people when you call literal neo-Nazis protesting Jews ‘good people’, than you can call yourself a friend if you oppose the existence of the world’s only Jewish state, given to the Jewish people just three years after two-thirds of Jews were killed on the continent that had been our historic homeland for a thousand years.

Whether you are a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, or a person who goes above merely defending Ilhan Omar to support sentiments just slightly similar to what she believes about America’s relationship to Israel, sensible Judaism spits you out. But if you’re even so much as tempted to defend Trump’s support of us, we spit you into the toilet.

About the Author
Evan Tucker, alias A C Charlap, is a writer and musician residing in Baltimore. He is currently composing music for all 150 Biblical Tehillim. A Jewish Music Apollo Project - because "They have Messiah, we have I Have a Little Dreidel." He is currently on #11. Eight of the first ten are pretty avant garde, but they're going to get more traditional as he gets further in. https://accharlap.bandcamp.com/ Evan also has a podcast called 'It's Not Even Past - A History of the Distant Present' which is a way of relating current events to history and history to current events. https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/itsnotevenpast Most importantly, he is also currently working on a podcast called Tales from the Old New Land, fictional stories from the whole of Jewish History. The podcast is currently being retooled, the link to the new version will be up in the next month or so.
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