Despite Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s repeated use of antisemitic tropes and stereotypes to smear supporters of America’s closest ally, Israel, House Democrats appear unwilling to take any concrete action against her out of fear of their radically far-left base.
The closest House Democrats have come to condemning her rhetoric has been by scheduling a vote on a resolution that condemns all antisemitism but fails to mention her by name. Yet even this inadequate gesture has now fallen by the wayside thanks to complaints by Omar’s defenders.
“A vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in response to controversial comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar is set to slip past Wednesday amid intensifying pressure from the left both inside and outside the House Democratic Caucus,” Politico reported.
“An array of progressive groups declared their support for Omar, while both the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus — two of the most important factions among House Democrats — wanted more time to review the situation.”
“We’re still discussing it,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said to the outlet Tuesday. “The sentiment is that it ought to be broad-based. What we’re against is hate, prejudice, bigotry, white supremacy, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. Yes, we’re strongly against anti-Semitism, but we’re strongly against prejudice directed at any group.”
Among the Muslim congresswoman defenders has been socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s pushed back against the growing criticism of Omar by playing the whataboutism game:
One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled “Go back to Puerto Rico!” on the floor). https://t.co/MwrRN4v4DG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019
She’s also argued that a resolution is a “last resort” — that Omar should be dealt with privately for now:
“Calling out” is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort.
We do it when repeated attempts to “call in” are disrespected or ignored. And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen+work w/impacted communities.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019
It’s unclear whether she realizes that Omar’s latest bout of antisemitism — last week she suggested that pro-Israel groups within the U.S. are pushing allegiance to a foreign country — marks the 3rd+ time within a matter of weeks that she’s spouted antisemitic rhetoric.
Even House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Eliot Engel, another Democrat, has suggested the Muslim congresswoman deserves to be treated with kid gloves.
Speaking Monday evening on CNN, he specifically said that despite Omar’s continued antisemitism, she doesn’t deserve to be kicked off of the committee because she’s young (she’s 37), and she deserves a chance to “grow” and “change.”
“I’m hoping that she’ll grow and she’ll change. I’m hoping. Some people change their beliefs, I’m hoping she’ll change hers. I think what she said was wrong and hurtful. I think she should understand that,” he said to CNN host Erin Burnett.
When asked specifically about removing Omar from the committee, he claimed doing so would only “exacerbate the situation even more.”
His rhetoric sounds eerily similar to that of former Alabama resident turned jihadi bride Hoda Muthana, who, besides trying to seek reentry into the U.S. despite her repugnant behavior, has suggested that jailing her for betraying America might encourage her to re-embrace terrorism.
The media has also been circling the wagons around the Muslim congresswoman.
On Monday MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell read AOC’s whataboutitsm tweets to a panel of left-wing contributors and then said, “She’s got a point.”
No, she doesn’t. Note for instance how the freshman congresswoman had argued that “a GOP member yelled ‘Go back to Puerto Rico!’ on the floor,” and that this remark is equivalent to Omar’s antisemitism. It’s not even remotely equivalent.
Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican, made the remark in January to a group of Democrats who’d just returned from a lavish trip to Puerto Rico amid the government shutdown. The remark had nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with the Democrats’ stunning lack of concern for the suffering caused by their intransigence.
Listen to Mitchell defend AOC’s false equivalence anyway:
It’s as if nobody on the left — from seasoned Democrats like Engel to freshman Democrats like AOC and of course the members of America’s demonstrably left-wing press — want to hold Omar accountable for being a raging antisemite who doesn’t even try to hide for disdain for Jews anymore.
To be fair, there are some Democrats speaking out against Omar … but only anonymously.
“This resolution doesn’t mention her name even. This is pretty mild given that she’s a repeat offender,” one unnamed Democrat aide rightly noted to Politico.
Pretty mild for a repeat offender indeed. But what else is to be expected from the party so delusional that it thinks President Donald Trump, a man considered to be the most pro-Israel president in American history, is the real antisemite and Nazi!?
“Omar is just a freshman rep.”
She is also the face of the Democrat Party. Condemn the anti-Semitism or don’t. But hard to take the Left’s cries of Nazism seriously when they prop up anti-Semites with such adoration. Hard pass, Nancy. https://t.co/mGDhx3qu49
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) March 3, 2019
It amazes me how many uninformed people still think that Republicans and Trump are the party of anti-Semitism, when it is the democrat party that is regularly electing virulent anti-Semites to congress. https://t.co/bu5jT4a8Yx
— Ben Cates (@BenCates_) March 5, 2019
Like a number of Twitter users have argued, it’s as if the Democrat Party of the KKK, of Jim Crow and of segregation is now the party of antisemitism as well:
You can criticise any foreign government including Israel but Ohmar’s repeated language & comments are bordering on racist or are. The Democrat party is the party of antisemitism. That is now a fact https://t.co/CjP8kJiEOk
— William (@William__91) March 6, 2019
And now they’re the party of anti-Semitism. They be hating them Christians too. The Democrats keep attacking our Constitutional rights. Who are these people? When is the Democrat party going to pay reparations for all the damage they did to our black citizens?
— robert krawczyk (@cabbobby) March 6, 2019
The democrat party is is now the party of antisemitism and continues to be the party of racism, the KKK, Jim Crow and murder
— WearsanEagle (@COLZaslavsky) March 6, 2019
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