Democrat Hypocrisy on Condemning Anti-Semitism Is Becoming Tiresome

As an American Jew who retired after 30 years of practicing law in order to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, including spending the past 15 years working with many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations on these issues, I am disgusted at the hypocrisy of Democrat lawmakers and liberal Jewish leaders who are blind to anti-Semites in their midst while using anti-Semitism on the right as a political tool for grandstanding and self-promotion.

I have written extensively over the years about rising anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party and on the left more generally.  Yet American Jews continue to remain tethered to the party that refuses to denounce Jew-hatred in its midst while embracing lawmakers who are raging anti-Semites, including Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pramila Jayapal, Betty McCollum, and Keith Ellison, to name a few.

When Republicans see an anti-Semite in their midst, they ostracize him, as they did Congressman Steve King, whom they immediately stripped of all committee assignments when he was accused of anti-Semitism for remarks he made.  When Democrats see one, they do the opposite, elevating them to important committees while also refusing to condemn them, as they have done with Omar and Tlaib for years.  In fact, Democrats blocked a House resolution last year seeking to condemn anti-Semitism (in response to statements made by Omar), instead passing a resolution that condemned all forms of hate, including Islamophobia, ignoring the fact that FBI hate crime statistics bear out the sad reality that Jews are the victims of over 60% of all religious-based hate crimes.  (The second highest religion was Muslims, representing only 13% of such crimes.)

Democrats suddenly find their voices, however, when Jew-hatred comes from the right.  That provides too much of an opportunity for Democrats to pretend they care about Jew-hatred and provides cover for them to continue selling uninformed Jews on the faux narrative that they're friends of Israel and the Jewish people.  For instance, AOC, who has joined forces with the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (as well as her anti-Semitic comrades in the Squad), took the opportunity to offer "solidarity" with the Jewish community after a Confederate flag was tied to the front door of New York City's Museum of Jewish Heritage.  AOC tweeted: 

We stand with our Jewish neighbors & loved ones, and will always stand to protect them from these sickening acts of hatred + intimidation. White supremacists should pack up their garbage & get out of our city. New York does not and will never welcome you. We protect each other.

AOC couldn't let an anti-Semitic incident go to waste — unless it comes from her Squad comrade Rashida Tlaib, who recently called for the annihilation of Israel.  Radio silence from the likes of AOC.  The truth is that AOC is full of "garbage," as she does nothing to stand with Jews and protect them from hate.  Rather, she stands with the haters.

With seemingly good intentions, Jewish Democrat Senator Jacky Rosen has also decided that it is time to call out anti-Semitism.  While remaining silent in the face of the hatred of her Jew-hating colleagues in Congress over the past two years, she has now decided that because the anti-Semitism is on the right, it must be condemned.  Claiming that she was "horrified and disgusted by the anti-Semitic rhetoric and symbols" seen during the pro-Trump rally this week, I have to wonder where her outrage was with all of the anti-Semitic signs, symbols, graffiti, and chants during the BLM protests all summer.  Calling that out might have cost her her seat, so she remained silent — as did all of her Democrat colleagues, Jew and non-Jew, many of whom have no problem recognizing anti-Semitism where it doesn't even exist, like in the Trump White House, where historic measures were taken to protect Jews and Israel.

Rosen did get one point right when she stated, "These manifestations of anti-Semitism pose a direct threat not only to America's Jewish community, but to all Americans who value our democracy."  That wasn't particularly insightful, and like in the case of Kamala Harris, who plagiarized an MLK Jr. quote, is just a rewording of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sack's famous insight that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews.  It's a useless observation by Rosen if she doesn't call out all forms of anti-Semitism and begin with her colleagues in Congress.

To be clear, anti-Semitism must be called out wherever it exists — left, right, Islamist, Black Lives Matter, academia, and the halls of Congress.  It's difficult to take anyone seriously when he recognizes Jew-hatred only from his political enemies.  That simply lacks sincerity and provides cynicism in the belief that people like AOC, Rosen, and others don't care less about rising Jew-hatred, prioritizing instead their political careers.

This is not just a problem within the Democrat Party.  This is a problem within many mainstream Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, which is led by Obama administration alumnus Jonathan Greenblatt, who seems singularly obsessed with social justice issues and anti-Semitism from the right while completely ignoring all other forms of Jew-hatred.

Democrats must also stop continually making Holocaust comparisons.  We've spent four years listening to Trump being compared to Hitler and his supporters being labeled Nazis.  This is unacceptable.  Thankfully, there is nothing that has occurred in this country that can compare to the systematic murder of over ten million, with the goal of annihilating the entirety of the world's Jewish people.  Any individual, including the Jews at the Jewish Democratic Council (that issued an appalling ad during the campaign comparing Trump's America to Hitler's Nazi Germany), must discontinue this dangerous trivialization of the horrors of the Holocaust.

The hypocrisy of Democrats who feigned outrage over incoming Republican representative Mary Miller's ignorant statement about Hitler, including numerous calls for her resignation from congressional Democrats, became even more palpable on Friday.  That is when Joe Biden disgracefully received a free pass for comparing Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to Joseph Goebbels.  The president-elect should never invoke a comparison of senators to Nazis, let alone a comparison of senators who are staunch advocates of Israel and the Jewish people, to the mastermind of the extermination of six million Jews.

But there was radio silence from his party, including all of the Democrats who called for Miller to resign and who have ignored anti-Semitism on the part of their colleagues on their side of the aisle for years.  In response to the outrage over Miller's comment, she apologized.  Where is the outrage over Biden's, where are the calls for him to resign, and where is his apology?

We are entering into ever more dangerous territory, as anti-Semitism flourishes not just around the globe, but also here at home and in the halls of Congress.  If Jewish policy-makers remain silent in the face of this frightening trend, who will speak out on the Jewish people's behalf?  To quote another wise Jew, Rabbi Hillel, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  But if I am only for myself, what am I?"  The answer to that question seems to be a hypocrite.

Image: Dimitri Rodriguez via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.