Hate is the great unifier of mass movements. Its power is neither to be dismissed nor underestimated.
Identity politics, with its focus on intersectionality, is forged in the crucible of hate. If there are oppressed, there must be oppressors.
Identity politics deals not with the actions of individuals, but rather the actions of groups against groups.
Its incongruities and hypocrisies are palpable. In the wake of 9/11, we were cautioned to indict neither all Saudis nor all Muslims as terrorists.
But when it comes to Jews, there is no characterization, no matter how obscene or how offensive, that is beyond the pale of discourse. There are no caveats.
In the halls of Congress, the intersectionality-spawned disdain of Jews is almost a daily occurrence. Led by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), it finds justification in the voices of other “minorities” who rise to defend her actions. Instead of condemning Omar’s invocation of hateful tropes that have been the historical foundations of anti-Semitism, the usual suspects have been stepping over themselves to affirm them.
Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour was quick to jump into the fray. And, of course, no attack on Jews would be complete without some display of pathetic ignorance from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who, when not distracted from preventing 25,000 jobs from coming to her district, is busy enlightening Congress on the virtues of the terrorist group Hamas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has drawn fire for placing Omar on the influential House Foreign Affairs committee, drew a moral equivalence between Omar and Trump supporters based on one aberrant individual at a Trump rally.
As Kellyanne Conway noted when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked whether she would call this individual deplorable, “Yes, I would. His conduct is completely unacceptable and does not reflect our campaign or our candidate.”
In contrast, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) had this to say about Omar: “… I wish we would just go on and stop beating up on people when they make a mistake. All of us have misspoken at one time or another.”
But Omar is not misspeaking. She knows exactly what she is doing, and the Jewish community of Minneapolis has finally had enough of her disingenuous commitments to Israel and her repeated anti-Semitic slurs, followed by her duplicitous apologies.
Omar’s anti-Semitism drew endorsements from white supremacist David Duke and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. If there is one thing white supremacists and black nationalists share, it is hatred of Jews.
Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory, a vocal supporter of Farrakhan’s, naturally added to Omar’s defense, parroting Farrakhan’s specious indictment of Jews as being responsible for the slave trade.
Jews provide a convenient focal point for the American Left’s hate. And progressive Jews, given a choice between their leftist politics and their fading Jewish identity, have joined the Hamas chorus, lending a twisted credibility to hackneyed tropes that have resulted in inquisitions, crusader massacres, pogroms, and the Holocaust.
Max Berger, co-founder of the anti-Zionist IfNotNow, calls on his fellow Jews to stand with Omar against AIPAC, which Omar alleges buys votes from her fellow members of Congress.
Berger and Omar are obsessed with AIPAC, using old tropes of Jews and money. But somehow the various Arab lobbies, including the powerful Saudi and Emirates lobbies, escape their concern.
For all of Omar’s trafficking in allegations of Israeli apartheid, there is actually an empirical measurement of racism among states. Muslim states tend to be racist and xenophobic.
But Omar’s accusations bear no relation to facts — as fellow traveler Ocasio-Cortez has said, if you are morally correct, the facts don’t matter.
Neither do they matter to those who seek to mobilize a mass movement built on hatred as the sinew that ties it all together. In this pursuit, both Omar and her progressive accomplices are of one mind. Jews should take note, for those who do not pay attention to history are known to repeat it.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow him @salomoncenter.