The Democratic Party is at a crossroads

And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws are diverse from those of every people, and they do not keep the king’s laws; it is therefore of no use for the king to let them be.” Esther 3:8

Those words were uttered some 2,500 years ago by the wicked Haman the Agagite, a prime minister of Persia.

The ancient Book of Esther story begins with great trepidation but ends quite well, as the evil chief official’s plan for Jewish annihilation goes awry thanks to Queen Esther, and her cousin, the Jewish leader, Mordechai. The minister’s term in office is ended prematurely when his neck is stretched by the gallows he erected for the wise and righteous Mordechai, and the Jews prevail over their enemies.

But from time immemorial and on, tragically, as it says in the Passover Seder Haggadah, “In every generation they rise against us to destroy us.”

A great number of despots and madmen have tried to eradicate the Jewish nation, and some, most notably, a 20th century European monster, have done murderous damage in ways and on scales unable to be fairly defined by any analysis of man’s inhumanity.

In every generation, the same arguments for destruction of the Jews are given. Let’s imagine Haman making the case to his ruler.

“They are not like us. They don’t share our values. They and their supporters live for their own financial, religious, and governmental designs. They may take part in the citizenship of our country, but they care too much for their own homeland. Their true loyalties lay not with us, or any other place where they now live in exile, but with Israel.”

Sound familiar?

And so, as we are only a week and a half before Purim, the holiday commemorating the victory over Haman along with his anti-Semites, the stereotypes and the canards and the slurs against the Jewish people continue.

And in of all places, this place, the United States, the hope after Hitler, the “Goldene Medina,” a name termed by European Jews wishing to escape the pogroms and the unfathomable, for the glistening shores of America where in the hearts of countless throughout the world, the gilded sun of freedom is always rising, even when it sets.

Not in Europe, which is forever the same, and to be expected. But, in this God-blessed place, inconceivably, sadly, here, the Jew-hatred is promulgated by actual elected members of the US Congress, unabashed, unashamed, and truthfully unapologetic.

Haman’s logic is adopted to explain, defend and to promote.

And the haters are defended or excused by Democratic Party members and leaders, and by pundits, along with the usual self-haters. Each latest affront is dismissed and/or deflected and/or pivoted away. “And what about Trump? Charlottesville? Steve King?”

“What about, what about, what about…?”

And I say yes, yes, yes. So now it’s ok? And while the Republicans have had their own miscreants, Democratic leaders are actually following the feelings of many of their constituents, which is natural, but which is also gutless.

According to a Pew Research Center study from a year ago, “Since 2001, the share of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians has increased 29 percentage points, from 50% to 79%. Over the same period, the share of Democrats saying this has declined 11 points, from 38% to 27%.”

But leadership is about, well, leading, even at the risk of alienation and “primarying” and third party presidential threats. Bashing Israel unfairly leads to bashing Jews, and anti-Zionism IS anti-Semitism. Denying this is not just racist, it is worrisome and dangerous.

And even when, especially when, far left anti-Semitic socialists or progressives or whatever label they prefer are elected to office, they must be condemned and ostracized, not the complete opposite.

Not feared. Not joined by those running for high office. Not admired, coddled, followed. Not being allowed to move the party toward a new hostile-to-Israel-and-Jews normal, getting ever closer to what has happened to its ideological sister party in the United Kingdom.

We know what we need to about the obscene Minnesota Democrat, Ilhan Omar, Democrat Keith Ellison’s congressional replacement. And yes, that Keith Ellison, former (?) Louis Farrakhan supporter, now Minnesota’s Attorney General.

Omar’s Jew-hatred, NOT just Israel-hatred, or Israeli government-hatred, is documented and widely recognized, and she just can’t prevent her nasty passions from getting the better of her. Jewish money, dual loyalty, etc. Yet she is defended by Democratic leaders and stalwarts including Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and a slew of others including new clueless and veteran not so clueless Israel-haters.

Nancy Pelosi, “formerly” the head of her party in the House, now led by (and not only in the House) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY) – whose understanding of, and expertise in, anything of serious value is as extensive as her tenure in office – said this about Omar: “I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude. But that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and a cultural impact that might have been unknown to her.”

Uh-huh. Sure. Right. That’s the defense, Nancy? Omar really didn’t know her repeated disgusting tropes were anti-Semitic? And besides, she is a complete ignoramus? Does anyone believe that even Pelosi believes that? But the Speaker had no choice. This very shrewd politician cannot control her own members, and not just the newly elected ones.

House Democratic Whip, James Clyburn of South Carolina, the House’s highest-ranking African-American, who along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, has ties to Farrakhan, and who was the main player in the watering down of the Democrats’ “Anti-Hate House Resolution” after the latest Omar flap, said the new congresswoman’s experience was “more personal” than Jews whose parents survived the Holocaust.

Thanks, Congressman. You made this son of an Auschwitz survivor and Jewish partisan leader feel so much better. Continuous insult to continuous injury to the Jewish people.

Don’t even try to pretend you understand my pain, Congressman. This from the ADL to Clyburn: “The Holocaust was a singular tragedy resulting in the death of 6M Jews. It’s offensive to diminish the suffering of survivors and the continuing pain of Jews today.”

Also, contrary to what was reported about the Congressional Black Caucus’ thinking, Congressman, Omar wasn’t being targeted because she is a black Muslim woman. She was targeted for censure because she expressed her Jew hatred. Again. And again. Period.

At least her sister-in-anti-Semitic-crime, Rashida Tlaib (D, MI), who tweeted, “(They – Israel supporting senators) forgot what country they represent,” has learned to shut up. For now.

Let’s not forget the usual left-wing, Israel-hating, Jewish suspects. They do all they can by voice and word to remind us all that, hey, they are Jews too, and Omar was right! Or she was simply unartful in explaining a truth. Useful idiots. Worse actually.

Besides, “What about, what about, WHAT ABOUT…!!!”

Weak-kneed, liberal Jews looking for anything they could find within that joke of a resolution did not help.

The declaration was supposed to condemn Omar and her anti-Semitic insults – not enough, even before Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez, and Clyburn bullied Pelosi to attenuate it. When it should have stayed as unique as the offenses that reminded everyone about the most unique and heinous offense ever committed!

For those lacking resolve, sometimes there are just no silver linings, and denunciation should be without reservation, or feeble stretching for some kind of comfort.

The resolution gave equal weight to anti-Muslim bigotry, and I am against bigots (including the West Virginia Republican fools who displayed a poster linking Omar to 9/11 at a GOP event) and bigotry myself, and it listed a whole host of offenses, offenders and the offended including, but not limited to, white supremacists, Pacific Islanders, Hindus, Charlottesville, Charleston, the KKK, WWII incarcerated Japanese, and death threats. What? Nothing about endangered species?

And please don’t tell me I am being insensitive to any of those mentioned within the resolution. Make a separate pronouncement for everything else, if you must. The motion was supposed to be about Omar and anti-Semitism; it was not supposed to be a cavalcade of every hurtful thing under the sun. But no, let’s not make the Jew-hater feel bad.

What a distressing indignity to justice for those who have been targeted by Omar and others like her, and serious people know it. And Omar, of course, was not mentioned. Do you think she thought, “Mea Culpa,” or “Whew?”

By the way, not only has Omar not apologized for, nor retracted, her latest outrage, but she proclaimed victory, because her sins were diluted, and in truth – let’s be honest, papered over, by the House resolution’s off-topic, added wordy emphasis on anti-Muslim bigotry. If I wasn’t sickened, I would be laughing. No matter about any apology anyway. Only the feebleminded would believe it.

Incidentally, currently, I see very little of the “What about Steve King?” pushback. After all, the Republicans stripped the Iowa congressman of his House committee seats (and rightly so, and it should have been done a lot sooner, but still), and Democrats don’t want anyone to remember, as they refuse to not only do the same with Omar – who sits on the Foreign Relations committee of all things, but as they wobble on condemnation and determination.

The Democrats public lurch into leftward Israel-hating is nothing new. See the 2012 Democratic National Convention Platform’s “Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” debacle. See 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders falsely claiming Israel killed over 10,000 innocent people in the Israel/Gaza 2014 war, and doing what had never been done before in presidential debates – certainly at such a high level, i.e., making it officially OK, even fashionable, to excoriate Israel.

But this latest affront from one of three repulsive freshman congresswomen – one of the others, Ocasio-Cortez, is now fundraising by spuriously claiming AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is “coming after” her and the other two along with many other “elders” who should know better, gives license to young people to hate Israel and Jews when they need to learn by much better example.

Yes, the Democratic Party is at a crossroads. Or perhaps I should say a further marching toward-the-abyss crossroads, past other ignored crossroads. Many say it has already moved beyond the point of no return. The party’s double standard duplicity on a number of issues including this most current one is beyond glaring. It is blinding.

And grievously and bewilderingly, too many progressives who claim they are pro-Israel and anti-BDS – the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, consistently support people who are anti-Israel and pro-BDS. In and out of politics. As long as their non-Israel agendas match. Perhaps if Israel were a social issue…

I am one who believes that lots of things are cyclical, even suicidal political parties suffering from cowardice, unabated hypocrisy, morality deficiency, and conscience self-destruction. I even believe that sane Brits will one day reclaim its own liberal party, Labour, these last few years run by a despicable terrorist-loving anti-Semite and his Jew-hating cohorts and adherents.

Now although too quiet, there are Democrats of goodwill who are appalled at what has happened to their once honorable party. They legitimately hurt from their party’s growing intolerance and anti-Semitism, where freedom of speech is only OK when it is the speech of the political correctness police, the intersectionality gibberish/identity politics peddlers, and the newly powerful know nothing, control everything, young guard.

Look, I know there are sober non-extremists in the Democratic Party, but the party’s energy is far to the left, with dangerous lightweights being irresponsibly embraced by the ambitious clamoring for primary voters, and the deciding activists who smell the blood of those they deride as DINOs, Democrats In Name Only.

So will the party of JFK and RFK keep morphing into the party of AOC? We will learn more in the coming presidential election season. Stay tuned and let’s hope the Jew-hatred at least, will cease.

I am not holding my breath.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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