'The Squad' should apologize to Trump, America, and Israel
During the recent spat between President Trump and "The Squad" — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — Trump asked when the four women would atone for their anti-American and anti-Semitic behavior. Early Monday morning, Trump tweeted:
When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!
For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, this involves making amends for disparaging the officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the men and women who risk their lives to keep both Americans and immigrants safe — as well as asking forgiveness for disrespecting the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
"The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are. That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps," Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video. "The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it."
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Mark Morgan was insulted by the comment. "It's completely inappropriate, it's reckless, it's irresponsible, it's misinformed, and it's flat-out wrong," Morgan said in an interview. Josh Holmes, former chief of staff for Mitch McConnell, called Ocasio-Cortez's comments "an alarming and dangerous equivalence that suggests a breathtaking lack of appreciation for the unparalleled evil of the Holocaust."
Ilhan Omar must also apologize. In January, Omar tweeted that Israel had "hypnotized the world" and later stated that American support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins" and involved "allegiance" to a foreign country. As David French wrote in the National Review, "[e]ach of these statements represents a classic anti-Semitic trope, and the latter statements were made after she came under fire for her previous comments. She knew she was under scrutiny and yet doubled down."
At a CAIR event in the spring, Omar callously described the 9/11 terrorist attacks as "some people did something," which sparked a large pro-Israel protest. According to an article in the National Review, CAIR was listed by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, although to this day, CAIR vehemently denies this.
Rashida Tlaib, too, must make amends for her callous comments. Last June, she tweeted, "ICE is terrorizing our communities with zero accountability. ICE is a recent invention that makes our neighborhoods less safe, vindictively and cruelly tearing families apart. I'm proud to stand with the growing movement to #AbolishICE!"
Incredibly, just hours after being sworn in, Tlaib said in reference to President Trump, "When your son looks at you and said, 'Mamma, look, you won — bullies don't win.' And I said, 'Baby they don't, because we're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the m‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑!'"
Then there are Tlaib's insensitive comments about the Holocaust. In May, she told a Yahoo News podcast that there's a "calming feeling" she gets when she thinks of the Holocaust, explaining that it was the Palestinians who gave up their land to help Jews.
Although Tlaib's words were taken out of context by some, this didn't excuse her from using the Holocaust for political gain. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that "ADL strongly disagrees with the congresswoman's comments" and went on to correct her misinformation; Arabs who lived in British Mandate Palestine did not welcome Jews who fled to their historic homeland after the Holocaust.
Finally, there's Ayanna Pressley, who has some insensitive things of her own to account for. According to the Washington Examiner:
Speaking at the Netroots Nation convention in Philadelphia on Saturday, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley claimed black and brown people who work for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are "a cog" in the machine that perpetuates oppression and incarceration of people that "look just like them."
Do these comments — some of which are not only disrespectful to the Office of the President, but also clearly anti-American as well as anti-Semitic — warrant an apology from members of "The Squad"? You bet they do. If these four congresswomen don't take responsibility for their rhetoric, America should send them a message at the ballot box in 2020.
Christopher Paslay is a Philadelphia schoolteacher who writes a blog titled "Philly Teachers For Trump" at https://phillyteachersfortrump.home.blog.
Image: Global News via YouTube.