News and Commentary

HAMMER: House Democrats’ Anti-Anti-Semitism Resolution Is A Sham

Tomorrow, House Democratic leaders will bring to the floor a purely symbolic and toothless resolution condemning anti-Semitism. This is apparently Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) way of trying to mollify tensions sparked as a result of the sundry paroxysms of Jew-hatred from freshman congresswomen chronic anti-Semites Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

But while Tlaib’s long-running ties to genocidal Jew-haters, Holocaust deniers, and apologists for the Shiite supremacist terror group Hezbollah are now out in the public domain, it is Omar’s tripling down on the infamous “dual loyalty” canard that is the immediate cause of the resolution’s being brought to the House floor.

The full text of the resolution is now available. It describes anti-Semitism as “the bigotry faced by Jewish people simply because they are Jews,” and as “entail[ing] prejudicial attitudes or discriminatory acts toward people who are Jewish on the basis of their identity.” The resolution refers to FBI hate crime statistics evincing a recent large spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes, and it even has a whole section decrying the “insidious, bigoted history” of “dual loyalty” canards.

The resolution is, perhaps, a nice touch. It is also completely useless.

Not once does the resolution expressly name Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, or anti-Semitism apologist and noted Jeremy Corbyn sycophant Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). There is no direct outing and shaming of the uniquely vile strand of Jew-hatred increasingly normalized by this new, thoroughly unholy Democratic triumvirate. Instead, by spending less time on the uniquely pernicious consequences of the Jewish/Israel-specific “dual loyalty” canard and by spending more time on numerous other “dual loyalty” smears proffered over the past 130 years, the resolution is phrased so diffidently and innocuously so as to effectively bend over backward and beg Omar to support it.

And therein lies the cowardice of this whole sham. Not only is this resolution consequentially meaningless and without any tangible effects on the House of Representatives’ day-to-day business, but its platitudinous and faceless decrying of various anti-Semitism myths actually undermines the very clarity that the resolution purports to seek. We know that anti-Semitism is uniquely evil — the oldest and most deeply destructive bigotry known to man. What we do not know is whether House Democratic leaders have the fortitude to take concrete, consequentially meaningful action to crack down on specific instances of vile Jew-hatred from within their party’s own elected official ranks. What we do not know is whether House Democrats are capable of summoning the courage to punish Ilhan Omar in the same manner that House Republicans recently punished Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Words are cheap. Actions are less cheap.

As David Harsanyi writes today at The Federalist:

Congress, of course, really has no business setting guidelines for acceptable political speech. Pelosi does, however, have the power to name committee appointees. And with this power she decided to place a doltish Jew-hater with radical positions and absolutely no relevant experience on the House foreign affairs committee to appease the growing anti-Israel contingent in her party.

Jews, pro-Israel advocates, and all opponents of anti-Semitism ought to be unassuaged by Pelosi’s feckless sham tomorrow. We ought to demand far more — beginning, at minimum, with Omar’s being stripped by Pelosi and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) of her seat on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Only then can we begin to assess, in earnest, whether the Democratic Party is beginning to learn its lesson about the noxious strand of Israel-hatred and Jew-hatred that is increasingly at home within the Party’s broader tent. And only then can we begin to assess whether the Democratic Party is remotely serious about preventing its full-on Corbynization.