Thursday, 07 March 2019

Democrats’ Problem: Is Leftist Muslim Omar Moving the Overton Window on Israel?

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It appears that Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the newly elected radical Muslim congresswoman, has enlarged the Overton Window, the small frame that defines the boundaries of acceptable public discourse.

Last week, the anti-Israel Omar suggested dual loyalty on the part of the Jewish state’s supporters in Congress, which provoked a farago of denunciation from Jewish Democrats and pro-Israel Republicans.

Top Democrats quickly drafted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, but did not name the Somali-born Omar. Yesterday’s expected vote was postponed when several congressmen defended Omar or claimed the issue was distracting the party from the real bigot, President Donald Trump.

The House might vote on a revised resolution today, but the larger issue is this: Is debating this country’s unswerving devotion to the interests of Israel now acceptable?

Acrimonious Democrats
According to the Washington Post, when Democrats met Wednesday morning to decide on the vote, “the session quickly became rancorous, reflecting splinters over wider issues such as America’s long-standing support for Israel, the appropriate response to racial and religious grievances, and a new generation’s reliance on social media.”

The vote was scrapped, and “Democratic leaders openly fretted that the divisions would overshadow their legislative agenda.” Inside the Democrat confabulation, “multiple House members stood up to challenge the decision — endorsed by Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership — to move forward with a resolution condemning religious hatred.”

If that’s true, Democrats had better get control of legislators such as Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is particularly obsessed with Catholic judicial nominees in whom “the dogma lives loudly,” or Mazie Hirono, who billed the Knights of Columbus as an extremist hate organization.

That said, even older-generation Democrats weren’t on board with the resolution. “Why are we doing this?” asked Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey. Coleman said the measure was unnecessary, the Post reported, and “simply an opportunity to give both the media and Republicans distractions from our agenda. We’ve got important work to do.”

Part of that work included retargeting on the GOP and the president. The former chairman of the racialist Congressional Black Caucus said “living while black has become a real, real issue” since Trump was elected, and Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, smeared Representative Jim Jordan as an anti-Semite. Jordan’s crime? In a tweet criticizing Nadler for his push to destroy the president, Jordan wrote leftist billionaire Tom Steyer’s surname with a dollar sign.

Anti-Israel Radicals Moving Against Pelosi, Old Guard
Shouting that the GOP is full of bigots won’t lessen the pain for Democrats in grabbing a nettle of their own making. Unwavering support for Israel has always been the sine qua non of reaching the pinnacle of power in Democratic Party politics, even as the party has moved further left. But now, the party has an “an ideological and generational divide,” the New York Times observed:

On one side are veteran Democrats like Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Nita M. Lowey and Jerrold Nadler — all of whom lead major House committees and all of whom are Jewish.... They emerged to push for the resolution.

On the other side are younger members like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ... and liberal groups like Justice Democrats and IfNotNow, a movement of young Jews dedicated to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. They accuse Democratic leaders of singling out a woman of color while letting slide comments from Republicans that they deem racist, anti-Semitic or bigoted, including many from President Trump....

[A] slew of left-leaning journalists and activists are posting under the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan.

“The Democratic Party’s throwing of @IlhanMN under the bus is an (unfortunately unsurprising) disgrace,” Jeremy Scahill, who founded The Intercept, a left-wing news organization, wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “She raised entirely legitimate concerns about US support for the murderous apartheid government of Israel & the subservience of US politicians to the agenda of a foreign power.”

In other words, the party of inclusion is so inclusive it now includes wildly popular yet rabidly anti-Israel politicians such as Omar, and the equally radical Muslim, Israel-hater Rashida Tlaib. Both sympathize with co-religionists in the Middle East who want to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

The Democrats’ latest troubles began when Omar uttered the unthinkable: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Then, she tweeted, “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone.”

No, she’s not alone. Omar is anti-American, but not because she’s anti-Israel. That said, the cat she let out of the bag just jumped through a much larger Overton Window.

Image: Ruskpp via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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