MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS MAY 17 2023
As reported in last week’s Queens Jewish Link, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was at the forefront of an attempt to co-opt the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel to push revisionist history about the events that occurred immediately thereafter. Tlaib, working with radical anti-Israel and Jew-hating groups, was pushing a Nakba event in order to “educate” her fellow members of Congress on the pseudo-historical notion that all the problems that have befallen the Palestinian people in the last three quarters of a century are squarely because of the Jews.
Well, after that column was published, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy canceled that event, saying that Tlaib was not allowed to use any space in the House to spread this libel. “It’s wrong for Members of Congress to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Israel,” McCarthy told the Free Beacon. “As long as I’m Speaker, we are going to support Israel’s right to self-determination and self-defense, unequivocally and in a bipartisan fashion.”
Tlaib made her usual complaints, but it seemed for a moment that she would not have a forum on United States government property for her propaganda. That is, until Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stepped in to provide such a forum. Sanders, who has Jewish heritage but wouldn’t even qualify for Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” was happy to help a fellow leftist spread her Jew-hatred. Sanders is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and offered her the HELP hearing room for the event. When asked, Sanders said, “Members of the United States Congress in a democratic society have a right to hold a meeting, and I think it’s outrageous that Speaker McCarthy threw them out of a room they had reserved.” (It’s hard to imagine Sanders applying that principle equally across all Members of Congress for all meetings, but that’s a tangent.)
The event was packed, with standing room only, and Tlaib was joined by BLM-activist-turned-Congresswoman Cori Bush. Bush is desperately trying to be the biggest Jew-hater in Congress, only to be continually outshone by Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and several others. When Tlaib spoke, she accused Israeli police of a “sustained campaign of terror” against Muslim worshippers at the Temple Mount, called Israel an “apartheid state” and said that US military aid to Israel supports “ethnic cleansing.”
A number of Senators, both Republican and Democrat, came out against this event being held in a Senate hearing room. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a pro-Israel stalwart who co-chairs the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, told Jewish Insider that “calling the establishment of the world’s only Jewish state a ‘catastrophe’ is deeply offensive, and I strongly disagree with allowing this event to be held on Capitol Hill.”
“Israel was founded as a refuge for the Jewish people fleeing millennia of anti-Semitic persecution and violence,” she continued. “Let me be absolutely clear: The United States is and will always remain a stalwart ally of the State of Israel.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the ranking member on the HELP Committee, was unaware that the Committee room was being used for this event. “I wholeheartedly disapprove of the Majority permitting the use of the HELP Committee room for this divisive event,” Cassidy said. “The Capitol grounds should not be used as a pedestal to legitimize anti-Semitic bigotry.”
One voice that has been silent thus far is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer, who has campaigned to the New York Jewish community for over 30 years that his last name means that he is a “shomer Yisrael” – a Guardian of Israel – is hoping that this blows over without him having to say anything. Schumer, who stood in Yad Vashem three months ago and said, “As Senate majority leader – the highest-ranking Jewish American elected official in history – I stand here today in the shadow of my ancestors who perished in the Holocaust to promise that as long as Hashem breathes air into my lungs, the United States Senate will stand behind Israel with our fullest support.” Well, air is in his lungs, but his voice is silent.
Florida Senator Rick Scott directly blames Schumer for allowing this event to occur. “Chuck Schumer’s decision to allow Bernie Sanders to host Rashida Tlaib’s hateful, anti-Semitic event in the HELP Committee room is disgusting,” Scott said in a statement. “The Left is showing Americans very clearly that they do not care about Israel. It is a truly sad day for our country when Democrats so blatantly turn their backs on Jewish Americans by uniting around an anti-Semite who not only spreads hate but actively uses her position as a member of Congress to advance an ugly agenda with the purpose of degrading our special relationship and strong alliance with Israel. Every Democrat must condemn Chuck Schumer’s decision to be complicit in spreading anti-Semitic hate. We will not forget or forgive this disgraceful bigotry.”
Rabbi Yaakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) gave Schumer the benefit of the doubt at first, assuming that he was unaware of Sanders’ decision. Yet, after days of silence, ignorance was no longer an option. In an email, CJV informed the public that they reached out multiple times to Schumer’s office. “As hundreds of missiles fired by genocidal terrorists rained down on Israel,” they wrote, “Rashida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, and a collection of hate groups gathered to say that Jewish children are ‘occupiers’ in their homeland and deserve to be terrorized and killed… Will you now publicly condemn this propaganda exercise and its open incitement against Jews, as we requested of you two days ago? You surely know that further silence sends a troubling message of its own.”
Schumer’s silence is troubling; Sanders’ complicity is horrific. Leftist Jews will repeatedly and without fail choose the religion of Leftism over the Jewish nation every single time. They hope and assume we will forget their sins and continue to give them our support. Maybe, one day, American Jews who care about Israel will prove them wrong.