House Democrats have shown time and time again that they will do almost anything to protect The Squad from hurt feelings, even if it means throwing one of their core constituencies under the bus.
Not even 24 hours after Israel announced they would bar Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN) on security grounds, some House Democratic leaders are mulling over ways to punish the two Jewish ambassadors at the center of the “controversy”: Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
About a dozen lawmakers, including senior Jewish members, began discussions on Friday morning over ways to communicate a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
The group is weighing issuing a statement of no confidence in Dermer and opening an inspector general investigation into Friedman’s conduct, the sources said.
“We are reviewing all of our options,” a senior congressional source told McClatchy. “With Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government given he has made promises that he has not kept and wasn’t clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”
The Democratic lawmakers include Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of New York and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey of New York.
Another issue the Herald reported Democrats had with Dermer was the release of Omar’s and Tlaib’s planned itinerary:
Adding to their concern over Dermer’s handling of the congresswomen’s visit, Democrats were further angered after the Israelis released Omar and Tlaib’s planned itinerary and a letter from Tlaib in a public justification of the move. That action raised concerns over whether U.S. lawmakers can trust their communications with Israel’s embassy will remain private going forward.
As for Friedman, Democrats say they have similar concerns:
The group of Democrats is also considering action against Trump’s ambassador to Israel, who issued a public statement defending Israel’s decision on Thursday, citing the country’s laws against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Both Omar and Tlaib support the BDS movement.
In the morning talks, lawmakers recalled a 1975 incident in which Henry Waxman, a longtime Democratic congressman from California, was banned from Saudi Arabia after listing his Jewish background on his visa application. The State Department intervened at that time in order to ensure all members of Congress could conduct business on behalf of the government, and Waxman was allowed in.
Friedman is breaking with that precedent, they argue, by failing to stand up for members of Congress.
Let me try to unpack this to give a better idea of just how absurd and self-defeating this is for Democrats to consider doing.
First, do not a single one of them – the Jewish members especially – not see the glaring differences between Waxman being banned from Saudi Arabia over his Jewish background versus Omar and Tlaib being barred from entering Israel because of their stated support of the anti-Semitic BDS movement?
Secondly, releasing the planned itinerary was entirely appropriate as it showed the trip was not an attempt at breaking bread with Israeli leaders, as Tlaib and Omar had previously suggested. Plus Omar would, hours later, lie about what the visit was supposed to be about:
This is a lie, here is your full schedule published by your office, you didn’t plan a single meeting with members of the Knesset or Israeli security officials. https://t.co/TuP3HeCNrs pic.twitter.com/iHtIElwDPz
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 16, 2019
Thirdly, consider this: Just a few weeks ago the House overwhelmingly passed an anti-BDS resolution. Back in June, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which included a condemnation of boycott efforts (but did not explicitly mention BDS).
Both Tlaib and Omar are on record as supporting and promoting the goals of the BDS movement, a movement that is unquestionably anti-Semitic.
So we’ve gone from formally condemning anti-Semitism and the BDS movement just a few weeks/months ago in solidarity with the Jewish community to considering attempts at punishing Jewish ambassadors over Israel’s decision to bar Omar and Tlaib from country – because they were going to use their trip to amplify the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
Oh, and did I mention the sponsors of their trip are vicious anti-Semites?
It’s almost like the Democrats want to lose in 2020.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –