Slouching Towards Anti-Semitism
The Democrat Party is on the verge of a moral meltdown fueled by identity politics.
At the 2012 Democrat Party Convention, the effort to reinstate the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital into the party’s platform was met with a chorus of boos loud enough to completely fluster convention chairman and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. After calling for a vote three times, Villaraigosa simply decided the “ayes” were in the majority — an assertion met with another chorus of boos. An anomalous moment?
Clarifying is more like it. “The California Democratic Party adopted a resolution at their annual convention on Sunday to oppose federal bills intended to thwart the movement to boycott Israel,” The Forward reported on Feb. 28.
In 1977, Congress passed legislation prohibiting Americans from complying with foreign government-imposed boycotts against nations friendly to the United States. It was supported by the Business Roundtable, American Jewish organizations and Jimmy Carter’s administration. In 2017, Congress sought to update that law with the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, adding international organizations like the United Nations or the EU that might also be inclined to pressure businesses to boycott the Jewish State.
This effort was aimed at defusing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been the radical Left’s favorite pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel platform, with all the attendant assertions of Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian territories included.
“Radical” is a key word here. In 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 2844. The anti-discrimination law made it clear that California’s government would bar companies that engage in discrimination against any sovereign nation from doing business with the state. Sec. 2. (c) of the law specifically barred discrimination against “the nation and people of Israel.” The State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1, and the State Assembly approved it by a vote of 69 to 1.
Eighteen months later, these same Democrats opposed federal legislation similar to the bill they had passed almost unanimously. Thus, what used to be “radical” leftist politics is now mainstream Democrats Party politics in the Golden State — all the attendant anti-Semitic implications included.
Is it just Golden State Democrats? The ACLU branded versions of the act making its way through both chambers of Congress as anti-First Amendment, despite the reality that nothing prevents anyone from expressing any opinion about Israel. Yet that was all the necessary cover for Democrats fearful of their increasingly leftist, pro-BDS base. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand withdrew her support for the bill, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren hedged, insisting, “The boycott is wrong, but I think outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic Constitution.” Democrat Senators Chris Murphy (CT) and Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (MA) were also vacillating with regard to the legislation.
And not just that legislation. Last August, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced he’d co-sponsor the Taylor Force Act, named after Army veteran Taylor Force, who was murdered by a Palestinian while touring Israel. The act would stop American taxpayers from subsidizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ended its reprehensible habit of providing terrorists freed from prison with a government job and a salary — one that is higher if their crime is more heinous.
The consummate no-brainer? Four Democrat senators, Chris Murphy (CT), Tom Udall (NM), Jeff Merkley (OR) and Corey Booker (NJ), voted to kill it in committee. And while the bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, it has yet to be voted on in the Senate.
Why are many Democrats embracing such hostility toward Israel? According to a poll conducted by Nielsen Scarborough, 56% of their constituents back economic sanctions and other get-tough measures against Israel, and 72% believe America unfairly favors Israel over the Palestinians.
Moreover, a Pew poll released in January reveals that since 2001, the share of Democrats sympathizing more with Israel has declined 11 points, from 38% to 27%. The decline among Democrat Millennials is even more pronounced: Approximately 27% of Millennials now say they are more sympathetic to the Palestinians than Israel, compared to only 9% in 2006.
The party’s schism is best revealed by the split between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s supporters favored Israel over the Palestinians, 47% to 27%. Sanders supporters favored the Palestinians over Israel, 39% to 33%.
Since Sanders supporters tend to be younger, Democrat politicians are apparently becoming more attuned to their social justice warrior sensibilities. Sensibilities increasingly aligned with the contemptuous notion that Israel is an apartheid state engaged in Palestinian genocide.
Yet Israel is only part of the dynamic, or perhaps better described as a useful distraction for the increasing levels of progressive-supported anti-Semitism per se. Nothing speaks to this reality better than leftist support for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a “gutter religion.”
Here are some illustrative quotes from Farrakhan:
“The Satanic Jews that control everything and mostly everybody — if they are your enemy, then you must be somebody.”
“No. You are not a Jew! I say you’re a so-called Jew. You are Satan masquerading as a covenanted people of God.”
“Bill Clinton refused to meet with an Israeli prime minister. The next thing you heard was ‘Monica Lewinsky.’ And all of those that were involved in scandalizing Bill Clinton, they happened to be Zionists.”
“Thanks to the exemplary work of scholars like Victor Thorne and Christopher Bollyn it is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks… It now appears that 9/11 was a false flag operation.”
In a major speech on Feb. 25, Farrakhan remained true to his worldview, asserting that Jews were “the mother and father of apartheid,” and declaring that “when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper sidestepped a media-imposed blackout and covered the speech, noting that despite the “inherent” anti-Semitism and anti-homosexual comments expressed by Farrakhan, “several leaders of the Women’s March are supporters of Farrakhan and have not condemned him.” He also leveled the same accusation against members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The proverbial shoe fits. One of Women’s March organizers was Linda Sarsour, who has long supported Farrakhan. She once insisted “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and justified terrorism as a response to a “racist, supremacist, violent [Israeli] regime” that views Palestinians as “less than human.”
Another organizer, Tamika Mallory, criticized by Tapper for attending Farrakhan’s rant, was “defended” by Bronx rapper and political activist Mysonne — who insisted Farrakhan was right to blame Jews for the “violence, control, pain and destruction” they have imposed on black people.
Mallory herself, who received a shout-out from Farrakhan at the rally, posted a number of tweets insisting she was the victim of “bullying.”
The Congressional Black Caucus? At least seven Democrats — Reps. Maxine Waters (CA), Barbara Lee (CA), Danny Davis (IL), Andre Carson (IN), Keith Ellison (MN), Gregory Meeks (NY) and and Al Green (TX) — have attended meetings with Farrakhan.
The same Congressional Black Caucus that buried a 2005 photo of Farrakhan with Barack Obama.
While visiting Israel last August, House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer insisted his party remains “overwhelmingly” pro-Israel. Chuck Schumer insists BDS and anti-Zionism are anti-Semitic. Yet the New York Post reveals a painful truth — and perhaps the most telling harbinger of things to come — noting that Schumer is 66 years old and Hoyer is 78, while Booker and Gillibrand are only 48 and 50 years old, respectively.
Thus, the paper asserts, the Democrat Party’s “reliable support for Israel looks to be a thing of the past.”
Columnist Dennis Prager is even more assertive, declaring, “The day America abandons Israel will be the beginning of the end of America as we know it.”
Not America, Mr. Prager. The Democrat Party. One on the verge of a moral meltdown fueled by identity politics, in all their tribalist — and burgeoning anti-Semitic — glory.