Originally published Queens Jewish Link FEBRUARY 01 2023
The term “anti-Semite” is too nice to call certain people. An anti-Semite thinks Jews are too successful, have too much control over the media, or control the weather. Those are anti-Semites. People who want to see dead Jews are just Jew-haters. We have a few of those in Congress. You can tell who they are because they call Israel an apartheid state.
Yes, calling Israel an apartheid state makes you a Jew-hater who wants to see Jews dead. The notion that anyone can look at Israeli society, which has more democratic rights to its non-Jewish minority population than any other Middle Eastern society has in totality, and declare that it’s apartheid, means that you are not looking at Israeli society as it stands. What you are looking at is Israel and the Palestinian Authority and combining the two societies and demanding that Israel grants full citizenship rights to them all.
This is what the Jew-haters do, because their goal is not to have a peaceful society in which Jews and Palestinian Arabs are joining hands and dancing under the sun; their goal is the destruction of the Jewish state. If the Jewish state collapses, there will be a war in which one side seeks to kill every single Jew who lives between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, thus making Palestine free. They even have a mantra that they happily chant at every opportunity. These are the Jew-haters.
The Jew-haters have other keywords that help distinguish them from your everyday anti-Semites. One of those is “Nakba,” which translates to “catastrophe.” The “catastrophe” they refer to is the failure of five Arab armies to kill every Jew in the newly declared State of Israel in 1948, a war that created the Palestinian refugee crisis that still exists today. Unlike any war-caused refugee crisis in history, the nations to which these refugees fled did not integrate or resettle these refugees; they used them as pawns for the next three quarters of a century to attack the Jews. Jew-haters still use them as pawns today.
Jew-haters defend terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians. This past week saw dozens attacked and killed for the great crime of living in Jerusalem – both the capital of modern Israel and ancient Israel, as well as the holiest city in Judaism. The defenders of the terrorist actions proclaim that no one who lives in “occupied” territory is innocent. The relatives and neighbors of the terrorists pass out candies and shoot fireworks in celebration of the murder. A Jew-hater in Congress needs to be a little more political, so they call for “de-escalation” and proclaim this is a “cycle of violence.” Then they claim that other’s spouting anti-Semitic remarks is the same as their own hatred of Jews.
But it is not the same. Degrees of evil and villainy do exist, and engaging in Jew-hatred should have professional and personal consequences. This is the argument for barring Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This is not an issue of her simply saying anti-Semitic tropes of Jews controlling Congress with money (which is something she said while in elected office); this is about her persistent and false accusation of Israel being an apartheid state.
It was obvious that the Democrats would rally around Omar, claiming that it’s racist because Omar is not white, xenophobic because she was born in Africa, and sexist because she’s a woman. Adam Schiff, who is Jewish, actually sat next to Omar during an interview while she claimed that she didn’t know it was a trope to say something about Jews with money.
There are a few Republicans who are actually defending Omar staying on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC) claims that this is Republicans engaging in “cancel culture.” “I am not a fan of Ilhan Omar. She’s an anti-Semite. She’s a bigot. She’s a racist. She’s a socialist,” Mace said. “But that doesn’t mean that we cancel people in this country. Republicans don’t stand for cancel culture. And that’s essentially what this is.” Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) said she was against removing Omar, as well, saying, “Two wrongs do not make a right,” referring to Nancy Pelosi removing Republicans from Committee assignments last term, setting a new precedent. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) claimed to be against it for similar reasons.
This reasoning is, frankly, laughable. The notion that this is engaging in “cancel culture” or a violation of Omar’s First Amendment right to say the most despicable things that she wants to say is asinine. The House Foreign Affairs Committee members should have some form of objectivity regarding the nations they deal with. Omar wants to see America’s greatest ally in the Middle East destroyed. She is far from impartial. Even assuming that objectivity is impossible, hatred should not be condoned.
As for the notion that Republicans should not engage in the same malfeasance that Democrats did, it’s past time to stop pretending that politics is civil. If Republicans allow, even for a moment, Democrats to push them around, then they cease being a useful party. Republicans cannot let Pelosi and the Democrats break literally hundreds of years of tradition about congressional committee assignments and not do the same thing. McCarthy is actually being far more lenient than Pelosi, allowing Omar to be on other committees, just not Foreign Affairs. Pelosi kicked Marjorie Taylor Greene off all committees, seemingly over an anti-Semitic statement made several years before she was elected to Congress. Omar says these things from the People’s House.
It’s also past time for people to stop pretending that all anti-Semitism is equal. As stated, degrees of evil do exist. Thinking that Jews control the weather or control the media is one thing. Hoping for a second Holocaust where over seven million Jews will die in the lone Jewish state on Earth is something else.