News and Commentary

Ted Cruz Has A Resolution That Would Finally Call Out Actual Anti-Semitism

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will introduce a resolution that, contra House Democrats’ recent watered down anti-bigotry resolution that wholly sold out the party’s manifold Jewish supporters, will firmly and directly call out the age-old, uniquely vile disease of anti-Semitism. Unlike the Democrats’ addlebrained resolution, Cruz’s resolution will unequivocally have in its crosshairs bigoted Jew-hater Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Liel Leibovitz of Tablet reports:

A new resolution, drafted by Ted Cruz and slated to be introduced in the Senate this week, delivers everything that the Democrats’ muddled manifesto did not. “Anti-Semitism,” it declares in its very first sentence, “is a unique form of prejudice.” It’s precisely the sort of statement — factually true and morally clear — that so many American Jews hoped to hear after Omar made her inflammatory comments, and had the new resolution said nothing more it still would’ve been enough. But in four brief paragraphs, Cruz’s initiative delivers not only a much-needed course correction but also an education on the specific historical evils of anti-Semitism and an elucidation of the real key differences between both political parties when it comes to understanding and honoring the concerns of American Jews. For these reasons, it merits a close reading.

The resolution begins, as all serious documents must, by providing historical context. Anti-Semitism, it reminds us, is not, as the Democrats’ resolution argued, narrowly an obsession of white supremacists — and as such only one small part of a worldview that disdains “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others.” Anti-Semitism is instead an unparalleled conspiracy theory that dates back more than 2,000 years and that, when left unchecked, has paved direct paths to extermination. …

Cruz’s resolution, on the other hand, shows a dramatically different way of thinking. Rather than treating Jews as a metaphor — an amorphous group whose suffering can be distilled into some politically valuable and intoxicating elixir — it is careful to enumerate the ways in which individuals have suffered.

Anti-Semitism opponents often lament those who seek to obfuscate the unique, timeless evil of Jew-hatred by burying it within the broader context of various other, often more modern bigotries. Cruz’s resolution avoids this by focusing narrowly upon the ways in which the Jewish people — and, specifically, the Jewish people — have been persecuted by oppressors for millennia.

As The Jerusalem Post notes, Cruz’s resolution is actually but one of two anti-Semitism-related measures that Senate Republicans plan to introduce this week:

Senate Republicans are set to introduce two bills that oppose antisemitism.

The bills follow a controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar, the freshman Democrat from Minnesota, who was accused by both parties of antisemitism for several remarks she made critical of Israel and its supporters.

One bill is a resolution, expected to be introduced Tuesday by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, declaring that “antisemitism has for hundreds of years included attacks on the loyalty of Jews.” The resolution is meant as a criticism of Omar, who in public remarks last month implied that supporters of Israel have “allegiance to a foreign country.”

The second, called the Antisemitism Awareness Act, is a bipartisan bill first introduced in 2016 to use resources in the Education Department’s Civil Rights Division to combat antisemitism on college campuses. The bill says antisemitism includes “harassment on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics with a religious group” as well as “discriminatory anti-Israel conduct that crosses the line into antisemitism.”