This week, Democrats cut ties with an anti-Semitic activist organization only to choose an anti-Semitic congresswoman to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Democratic Party is treating the left’s growing anti-Semitism problem as if it were a mere matter of bad optics. And that’s functionally equivalent to covering it up.
On Monday morning, Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory went on The View, where she faced a grilling by Meghan McCain over her support for outspoken anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. “A lot of people, by a lot of people I include me in this, think you’re using your organization as anti-Semitism masked in activism,” McCain said, “and that you’re using identity politics to shield yourself from critiques.”
McCain gave Mallory, who has called Farrakhan “the GOAT” (for Greatest Of All Time), an opportunity to denounce the Nation of Islam leader. Mallory chose instead to downplay her support for him. Less than a day later, the DNC pulled its sponsorship of the Women’s March. Great. But…
On Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that freshman Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, will sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Some details about Omar: She supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign aimed at destroying Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” This week, she went on CNN and defended her tweet. On Omar’s first day in office, she met with anti-Semitic Women’s March leader (and Farrakhan fan) Linda Sarsour.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee oversees House bills and investigations pertaining to U.S. foreign policy, and it has the power to cut American arms and technology shipments to allies. So, while the Democrats are distancing themselves from anti-Semitic activists who organize a march every now and then, they’re raising up anti-Semites to positions of power in the federal government.
Omar isn’t the only one. Rashida Tlaib, the freshman Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, posed for a picture with a Hezbollah supporter named Abbas Hamideh at her swearing-in ceremony in Detroit. She then dined with the man—who has railed against “criminal Zionists” and tweeted things like “Long live [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah!” Tlaib herself has a history of tweeting out support for anti-Israel terrorists. And recently, when a group of senators opposed a bill protecting localities that boycott Israel, Tlaib said that they “forgot what country they represent.”
There is no cosmetic fix for the anti-Semitism that’s infusing the activist left and creeping into the Democratic Party. It runs to the ideological core of intersectionality—the left’s latest religion. By the lights of intersectionality, Jews are too powerful and too white to be the targets of bigotry. So an anti-Semite is perfectly suitable as an ally against some other form of prejudice—against, say, blacks or women. And when anti-Semitism appears on the left, progressives are ready to explain it away with an assortment of convenient nuances and contextual considerations: It’s not anti-Semitism, it’s anti-Zionism; consider the good work the person has done fighting for other groups; we don’t have to embrace everything someone says to appreciate the good in them, etc.
These new congressional Democrats were celebrated far and wide when they were elected. They’re young, outspoken, and many are female. But that just makes them extraordinarily effective ambassadors for a poisonous ideology.