Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
One of the most quoted sentences from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is some variant on the theme: “When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way.” Rich Galen said that, on reading it, he never actually found that passage, but it has been quoted so frequently that it’s just accepted as being true.
Supposedly, Napoleon Bonaparte said something similar, “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.”
Regardless of the exact quotes, there’s a certain sense of schadenfreude when I see the Democrats stumble all over themselves and the anti-Semitism of Representative Ilhan Omar Hirsi (I-MN 5th District). The I stands for Islamist, though she is nominally a Democrat. Mrs Hirsi has done Republicans the great favor of turning allegations of anti-Semitism away from the GOP — where they were never justified in the first place, but were political attacks by the left aimed at swaying the ignorant to vote Democratic — to the Democrats, thanks to her clearly anti-Semitic statements. From CNN:
In January, Omar defended a tweet from 2012 in which she claimed that Israel has “hypnotized” the world and asked, “Allah to awaken the people and help them see the evil doing of Israel.” Omar tweeted in the midst of significant violence; in defense against rockets fired into civilian territory, Israel had launched airstrikes in Gaza that killed civilians.
After criticism earlier this year, she acknowledged that her comments were “unfortunate and offensive.” The following month she apologized“unequivocally” after claiming it was “all about the Benjamins,” meaning support for strong US-Israel ties was motivated by money. In both tweets, which have been deleted, scholars say Omar was echoing the tropes, the themes of anti-Semitism through the ages, painting Jews as disloyal, sinisterly powerful financiers.
Omar’s recognition that her words were hurtful has been inconsistent at best.
When Rep. Nita Lowey complained in a tweet that Omar “continues to mischaracterize support for Israel,” Omar doubled down, twisting the facts, responding that “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country.” But that was clearly not what Lowey implied.
After tossing around a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the Democrats finally put forth a resolution passed a resolution Thursday firmly condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, including anti-Muslim bias. They had to amend their resolution to be broader than anti-Semitism because so many Democrats were complaining that the original plan was an attack on the freshman member of Congress.
Which, of course, it was, because the Democrats had to do something. American Jews are the Democrats’ second most loyal voting demographic, and not condemning Mrs Hirsi’s hate speech might have threatened that. While the Democrats dominance in deeply blue New York was not at risk, Jewish voters are a significant bloc in Florida as well, and the defection of Jewish voters there might turn a purple state solid red.
And that, really, is the Democrats’ only concern. The Democrats were in no way concerned when President Obama instructed Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to abstain on a Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlement policy,¹ something she could have vetoed, nor when Secretary of state John Kerry delivered a long speech outlining American policy toward Israel, condemning the settlement policy, when Donald Trump was less than a month away from being inaugurated and would toss Obama Administration policy into the garbage can.
The Democrats’ real problem is that while they claimed that opposing Israeli government policy was not anti-Semitism, Mrs Hirsi and a couple of other freshmen Democrats were doing all that they could to prove that their opposition was based in hatred of Jews in general. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was determined to nip that in the bud, quickly, but it will prove to be a fruitless effort: it won’t take much time or provocation to get Mrs Hirsi to say something just as stupid as what she has already uttered, because anti-Semitism is simply a large part of who she is.
A large part of the problem was generated by Mrs Pelosi having put Mrs Hirsi on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the first place. No one who was paying attention could have been surprised by Mrs Hirsi’s statements and tweets; she had been spewing her filth long before she was elected. Giving her a seat on that committee simply provided an additional platform for her anti-Semitism, and everyone knew it.
Mrs Pelosi is, of course, an astute politician, and perhaps she simply expected that anyone who could win a congressional seat would also be an astute politician. If so, perhaps we might consider whether the freshman Democrats’ view of what constitutes being astute differs somewhat from that of the Democratic leadership.
In one way, I appreciate Mrs Hirsi’s blatant anti-Semitism. To me, it’s the difference between concealed and open carry; we all know, we have no doubt whatsoever, that Mrs Hirsi is a vile scumbag. She is not attempting to hide her views at all. In the end, she will do less damage to our country by being honest about what she believes.
¹ – The resolution says Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution”.
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