Democrat stand on anti-Semitism guarantees there'll be more of it
Like most progressive initiatives, last week's House of Representatives resolution aimed at curbing anti-Semitism is having the opposite effect. Instead of curbing the misdeeds of the loose-talking Islamist House members who created the need for a response in the first place, the resolution newly defines as "Islamophobic" anyone who criticizes a Muslim for saying anti-Semitic things.
Oh, the resolution does condemn the "dual loyalty" trope as anti-Semitic, without even hinting at the two anti-Semitic House members who've been making it an issue. The omission is partly explained by Nancy Pelosi's cowardly response to the "outpouring of support" for Ilhan Omar after Pelosi forced her to pretend-apologize for a previous slur. But there's more to it than that. While the resolution specifies that things like the "dual loyalty" charge are anti-Semitic, it also states that perceptions "that [Muslims] sympathize with individuals who ... support the oppression of ... Jews" are "false and dangerous stereotypes."
So, to be clear: If you make certain statements about Jews, it means you're an anti-Semitic bigot. But if you criticize a Muslim for saying them, that makes you an Islamophobe.
It's obvious who the winners are in this scenario. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (not to mention the likes of Louis Farrakhan and Linda Sarsour) can go right on with their anti-Jewish rhetoric, because calling them out on it makes you guilty of Islamophobic stereotyping.
Tlaib is already complaining that "Ilhan and I both have been unfairly targeted. I think there have been double standards."
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg defends Omar as the victim of a double standard, too — and says Omar's being criticized only because she's a Muslim:
Criticism, however, is not the right word for what she's faced. As one of the first two Muslim women in Congress — and the first to wear a hijab — Omar has been subject to a terrifying campaign of racist vilification, including a poster in the rotunda of the West Virginia Capitol linking her to 9/11.
Goldberg's idea of a double standard is that "Omar gestured at the idea of dual loyalty, but Trump, speaking to American Jews in December, referred to Israel as 'your country.'" But were there any Jews at Trump's speech who complained he'd called their loyalty to America into question? Is there something anti-Semitic in Trump acknowledging the affection of Jews for Israel? On the other hand, Omar's explicit remark about the dual loyalty of Jews — the one Goldberg waters down to a mere "gesture at the idea" — drew instant and widespread condemnation, including from prominent Jewish Democrats.
That is not to mention that Donald Trump has been subjected to a campaign of vilification since the first day he challenged Hillary Clinton and has been called an anti-Semite and a Nazi every single day since, no matter what he says or does.
Goldberg excuses Omar as being "held up for unique opprobrium because she empathizes with Palestinians more than Israelis." But it's not whom Omar empathizes with that's attracting all the criticism — it's whom she hates. There appears to be a direct link according to Goldberg between Omar being a hijabi Muslim and her being censured. It couldn't possibly be explained by Omar's compulsion to slander Jews.
I can't help thinking Nancy Pelosi — back in January, when she was still intoxicated with her "power" as the House speaker — put Omar on the Foreign Relations Committee in a paroxysm of transgressive glee. Too bad she was so preoccupied with destroying Trump that she didn't bother learning what, or whom, she was dealing with. Now that the House has courageously voted that it's Islamophobic for Pelosi to do anything to rein Omar in, it's too late.
The silver lining in all this is that Pelosi is losing control of her caucus. Let's hope the power she crowed about to Trump in the Oval Office is undergoing a brownout worthy of the Green New Deal.
T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan. You can email him at email@example.com.