Politics & Policy

Anti-Semitism’s Collaborators

Louis Farrakhan speaks at the Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day convention in Detroit, Mich., in 2017. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
The ‘It’s anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism’ dodge doesn’t wash.

The Democrats have a couple of problems: One is that they have spent many years complaining about being labeled “socialists” only to see their party come to be dominated by self-proclaimed socialists such as Senator Bernie Sanders (the gentleman from Vermont is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination but is not a member of the party) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, in spite of her pricey education, does not give the impression that she could be relied upon to spell bourgeoisie.

“Don’t call us socialists!” they used to say.

Now?

“Don’t call us anti-Semites!”

Well.

If the Democrats have a minor socialist problem, they have a major problem in the form of Jew-hating weirdos, preeminent among them the Reverend Louis Farrakhan of the so-called Nation of Islam. Farrakhan has been an out-and-proud Jew-hating weirdo for many decades now, but Democrats still feel the need to make gestures of obeisance before him: Anti-Trump leaders such as Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March have embraced Farrakhan and courted his favor. Barack Obama came a-calling in 2005 when he was ramping up his political career. The Congressional Black Caucus has consulted him. Bill Clinton stood alongside him at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, implicitly elevating the cult leader. California Democrats Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters attend Farrakhan’s public events, and Obama-administration veteran Eric Holder recently posed for a picture with him.

Farrakhan is an anti-Semite. About that there is no real debate. Eric Holder? Maxine Waters? Others who confer status and influence on Farrakhan and his gang? Maybe they aren’t anti-Semites. They certainly are collaborators.

Farrakhan isn’t the end of it, though.

MSNBC continues to prominently feature the Reverend Al Sharpton. He was Jussie Smollett before Jussie Smollett was in the matter of the Tawana Brawley hate-crime/rape hoax, and his rabble-rousing attacks on Jewish “bloodsuckers” and “interlopers” preceded the mass murder at Freddie’s Fashion Mart. He inflamed anti-Semitic passions leading up to the Crown Heights riots. Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes apparently are content to be affiliated with him.

Newly elected Representative Ilhan Omar apparently cannot open her mouth without letting out an anti-Semitic libel accusing Jews of being unpatriotic (the “dual loyalty” canard) and of bribing U.S. political leaders into supporting Israel. The Jews, she insists, “push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Representative Rashida Tlaib has similar problems and turns out to have been a contributor to one of Farrakhan’s batty publications. Members of the Democratic Socialists of America — Representative Ocasio-Cortez is a member — recently chanted eliminationist slogans calling for the liquidation of the Jewish state.

“Oh, that’s not anti-Semitism!” their apologists will say. “That’s anti-Zionism.”

Farrakhan has used the same line of defense. But it doesn’t wash. The viciousness and slander of the Democrats’ attacks on Israel are unique; give them a Cuban police state or a Venezuelan dictatorship and they’re kittens, but give them a polity full of Jews and they’re jackals. The double standards and unreasoning hatred of the progressive view of Israel simply does not have an equivalent associated with a non-Jewish state. Even their anti-Americanism is not quite as poisonous.

Anti-Semites? Collaborators? Something in between?

The Democrats have just been shamed into introducing an anti-anti-Semitism resolution in the House. In remarkably cowardly fashion, it does not name any names or even address the “anti-Zionism” dodge.

Strangely, the Democrats can, on occasion, work up some excitement on the question. Democrats love to lambaste the rich for weaponizing their fortunes in political fights. But Representative Jerrold Nadler accused a Republican colleague of anti-Semitism for rendering the name of billionaire progressive activist Tom Steyer as “$teyer.” Steyer, who has pledged many millions of dollars in support of sundry left-wing causes, is an Episcopalian, like his mother.

The Democrats bucked at being called socialists until their revolutionary vanguard began to come out as frank socialists. They complain about being called anti-Semites, too, which is a funny thing for friends and associates of Louis Farrakhan and Ilhan Omar to do. They can pass all the resolutions they like, but they will rightly be judged by the company they keep.

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