Even before the most recent controversy, Republican politicians relentlessly vilified Representatives [Ilhan] Omar and [Rashida] Tlaib, the first Muslim-American congresswomen, conflating their support for BDS with anti-Semitism. Norm Coleman, a paid lobbyist for Saudi Arabia and chairman of the Republican Jewish coalition, admitted to the New York Times that the purpose of the anti-BDS bill recently passed in the Senate, which the ACLU warns may very well be unconstitutional, was to divide the Democrats and send the message that Jews will be “much more comfortable in the Republican Party.”
Over this same period of time, several prominent black civil rights advocates have found themselves viciously targeted by the right for speaking out in support of the Palestinians.
These attacks on progressive leaders and Democrats are intended to discredit the rising left and distract from a simple fact: that while the Republican Party may support the Israeli government, it has actively jeopardized the safety and well-being of Jews in the United States.
The past several months have made this painfully clear. During the 2018 midterms, numerous Republican politicians ran explicitly anti-Semitic campaign ads, portraying their Democratic opponents as hook-nosed Jews clutching piles of cash. Kevin McCarthy, the erstwhile Republican House Majority leader (who criticized Omar’s recent tweet), tweeted an anti-Semitic ad of the sort one would expect to find in Viktor Orban’s Hungary, warning that three Jewish billionaires – George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg – were planning to steal the election.
I am glad @IlhanMN has taken responsibility for her words.
I am still waiting for @kevinomccarthy to do the same.
And I am still waiting for my country to hold women of color and white men to the same standards. pic.twitter.com/uqkJvfElN7
— Rabbi Mike Rothbaum (@Rav_Mike) February 11, 2019
Anti-Semitic incitement is routine from the Republicans and President Trump. Think of the claim that George Soros was funding a caravan of illegal immigrants to break U.S. borders. It’s so intense that it led first to near-lethal violence (the bombs sent to Soros’s home and others’) and then the deadliest anti-Jewish hate crime in U.S. history – the massacre in Pittsburgh just months ago.
The real outrage is not Omar’s poorly worded tweets but that President Trump and the current Republican leadership have Jewish blood on their hands — a fact that no amount of support for the Israeli government can erase. [Continue reading…]