The jihadis in Congress
Ilhan Omar, the freshman congressional representative from Minnesota, is in the news again for her anti-Semitism. Some have called her misinformed. But Omar appears to know precisely what she is doing. Each new outrage propagates Omar's hijab-framed face across the nation's TV screens for an entire news cycle.
Responding to pressure, she issued a non-apology apology, still trying to smear AIPAC and promote her anti-Semitic agenda.
Playing to traditional anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish money and power undermining American democracy in favor of Israel, Omar has only to look across the ocean to see how well such characterizations have played in Jeremy Corbyn's British Labor Party. In England, the Labor Party, the traditional home of Britain's Jewish voters, has now not only institutionalized anti-Semitism, but also transformed it into a virtue.
The ironic unfolding of anti-Semitic actions in Britain is consummated in watching British Jews of German extraction embracing the German government's offer to repatriate them. Who could have imagined in the 1940s that there would come a day when British Jews whose families escaped Germany would yearn to return to Germany to escape British anti-Semitism?
Of course, American Jews, especially the majority who identify and vote Democrat, believe that it cannot happen here. That's exactly what the Jews of Britain believed.
The Democrats with their unending glorification of identity politics must take responsibility for not only Omar, but also the growing anti-Semitic and hypocritical chorus of its newest and most showcased members. Rashida Tlaib celebrated her congressional victory by draping herself in a Palestinian flag and shortly afterward questioned the loyalty of American Jews.
Omar and Tlaib come from districts with large Muslim populations, many of whom are socialized into anti-Semitism by religious fanaticism and historical traditions. What these freshman Democrats lose in credibility with the general electorate, they gain among many of their constituents. Contrary to the notion that all who yearn to come to America also yearn to embrace American values, most people do not leave their culture at the water's edge, especially if their culture breeds triumphalism, as does the Wahhabi form of Islam that has been exported to the West.
Pockets of the Muslim community are going to be receptive to anti-Semitic tropes, and the Democrats' focus on identity politics presents a dilemma for party's leadership. To sanction Omar and Tlaib for their anti-Semitism would alienate Muslims, while not doing so alienates Jews.
How we got to this ludicrous point is in large measure the result of focusing on what divides us rather than what unites us, a theme that was conspicuously absent in Stacey Abrams's clumsy response to President Trump's State of the Union speech.
"Diversity is our strength" has become a shibboleth forged into the popular wisdom. We should be able to debate the strength of diverse cultures versus homogeneous cultures, an intellectual exercise that it seems no one wants to undertake. Whatever one thinks about such a juxtaposition, one thing is certain. No society can function without a unifying cultural character. From there to be many, there must be one.
The Democratic narrative, so repetitive in Stacey Abrams's speech, focuses on our diversity while ignoring the need to embrace a tolerant, democratic, pluralistic culture that unifies us.
Identity politics divides us, and it is being used as a shield by so-called progressives to tear apart our society. Jews are the canary in the coal mine, but remember, as history teaches us, that what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. Anti-Semitism is not the end that Omar, Tlaib, and fellow-traveler Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seek. Anti-Semitism is the means to fracturing the larger political structure.
Omar and Tlaib are jihadists who have infiltrated our corridors of power. They have no loyalty to our nation. They are acting for the same militant Islam that destroyed the World Trade Center. Their evil is insidious, and the Democrats must do more than denounce it. They must take decisive action to eliminate these actors on behalf of a foreign ideology from our Congress.