Amid attacks from Democratic colleagues in the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar says that she finds it “problematic” that “I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel.” And she knows many Americans agree with her. “I just happen to be willing to speak up.” The progressive base of the party is behind her, in a sign that the party is dividing on Israel.
Ilhan Omar is accused of antisemitism in fostering a “hoary myth of dual loyalty” to Israel. But Jews from Joe Klein to Eric Alterman to Melissa Weintraub to MJ Rosenberg say that allegiance to Israel is actually an important factor in the support for Israel in the United States, to the point that some support Israel’s interests over America’s.
Jewish Broadcasting Service hosts a hot-tub of xenophobia and Islamophobia, as Jonathan Mark of the Jewish Week says immigration is the “nurtured baby issue” of the Democratic Party and Tlaib, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez host districts of “new” people who come from “anti-semitic” countries, and Thane Rosenbaum of NYU says that 70 to 90 percent of Muslim Arabs believe in sharia law and therefore don’t belong in a pluralistic, constitutional democracy.
The essential dynamic at the core of the Israel lobby’s activities is American Jews’ belief that they are lesser than Israelis because they have easy lives and their kids don’t serve in the army in a tough neighborhood. So they must buy US political support for Israel no matter what it does. That guilt trip is finally coming to an end.
Why do Americans take such a racist view of Palestinian rights without even realizing it? One reason is that New York Times writers deploy Eliot Engel and Bret Stephens as honest critics of the new congressional class of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez when they are ideologues who do not see Palestinians as equals.
Sheldon Adelson says that assimilation has stopped Jewish greatness. “We should have been equal to Catholicism, to Islamists– we should have been a billion and a half people.” While his wife Miriam says her mission is to protect Israel because it makes Jews around the world safe.
Just when anti-Zionism is becoming mainstream, Bari Weiss reads the pro-Israel hasbara playbook and says that all anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic, because they demonize the Jewish desire for a homeland and apply a double standard to 6 million Jews as opposed to the other 7 billion people on the planet. But the New York Times columnist is powerful and important.
Progressive politicians are silent about Palestinian human rights because of the power of the Israel lobby, and “civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well… because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism,” Michelle Alexander writes in a groundbreaking piece in the New York Times. Guided by MLK, she says she will be silent no longer.