Jack Elbaum
Jack Elbaum is a freshman at George Washington University

The Democrats’ Jewish problem

After another week of controversy surrounding some of the Freshman members of Congress, people are once again questioning the Democratic party’s commitment to fighting anti-semitism.

The newest controversy started on Monday, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border.” She then went on to say that President Trump is a “fascist.” 

After bipartisan blowback, Ilhan Omar chimed into the conversation this Friday, saying “There are camps and people are being concentrated. This is very simple. I don’t even know why this is a controversial thing for her to say. We have to really truthfully speak about what’s taking place.”

Rightfully concerned by the remarks made by Omar and Ocasio-Cortez, Holocaust remembrance group, From the Depths, invited Ocasio-Cortez to visit an actual Nazi concentration camp with a Holocaust survivor, 93-year-old Edward Mosberg. Ocasio-Cortez rejected the offer, saying this is how “the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain.”

Whether or not this recent controversy is yet another example of anti-semitism coming from some of the new “fresh faces” in Congress can be debated, but one thing is clear: At the very least, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are engaging in Holocaust minimization in a way that is supremely insensitive. Detention centers at our Southern borders undoubtedly do not live up to the standard we should be setting for ourselves as one of the freest countries in the world, but to compare them to Nazi death camps is asinine.

ICE agents are not killing, starving, or doing anything else that would warrant such a comparison. And, for those who claim that ICE agents are doing that sort of thing, the truth is that when many people come to the border they are in extremely poor health and ICE agents are actively trying to save them, not harm them.

To downplay the Holocaust in order to play up the crisis at our Southern border is something to which there are no excuses for. Further, given the recent track-record on anti-semitism of some of these hard-left figures, the growing culture inside the Democratic party where Jews are being alienated is something that must be addressed.

The past few years have been exposing for those on the hard-left who have decided that they will defend all victimized groups with the exception of one: Jews. They have decided that it is not controversial to compare US detention centers to Nazi death camps, that Israel is “hypnotizing the world”, and that a Holocaust remembrance group inviting you to visit a Nazi concentration camp can be dismissed as “far-right” manipulation. Whatever happened to the party of tolerance?

It would be one thing if these were a few fringe voices that were actively being shut-down and ignored by the party establishment, but it’s not. Rather, the acts of a few have had a devastating effect on an entire party. Leadership has had to pay lip-service to the ideas of the fringe in order to ensure they do not take over the party. The issue is far bigger than just a few bad apples.

It is unfortunate to say, but the truth is that the far-left has just as much of a Jewish problem as the far-right does. It may be more clear when we all see white-supremacists marching while chanting, “Jews will not replace us”, but to ignore growing left-wing anti-Semitism would be to simply use anti-semitism for political gain.

About the Author
Jack Elbaum is a freshman at George Washington University. His writing has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Washington Examiner. You can contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Jack_Elbaum.
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