In response to Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic speech, House Democrats have written a resolution purportedly to “condemn anti-Semitism.” Omar’s actions underline her belief in the eradication of Israel, which is evidenced by her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is characterized by militant anti-Semitism under the guise of human rights advocacy.
The vote on the resolution has already been delayed, and it is possible Democrats will still fail to penalize Omar. The generic resolution does not name Omar, nor does it rebuke her unique bigotry. Any resolution “condemning anti-Semitism” affords no penalty to Omar, and it’s no deterrent to her or any other future anti-Semite’s similarly repugnant bigotry.
An effective resolution must rebuke any member of Congress who embraces anti-Semitism, and it must swiftly eject offenders — including Omar — from all committee roles, particularly those involving foreign policy. Fitness for office should also be considered to be incompatible with those identified as anti-Semites.
Omar’s demeaning of Israel and American Jewry — as well as her contemptuous insult that the United States has been “hypnotized” by Israel — all show that she is unfit for committee roles in the House, and especially on the House Foreign Affairs committee.
Claiming she is being smeared as an anti-Semite because of Islamophobia is classic Islamist inversion of adopting victim status after perpetrating bigotry. She is not being smeared. Omar has soiled herself.
In her short weeks, she has already done untold damage to the Democratic Party, which now appears to rank legitimate criticism of a bigoted Muslim elected official as a greater offense, and apparently beyond reproach, than speech demonizing Jews and Jewry.
Are we in America now privileging one minority over another? Are we denying the most persecuted minority, the Jew, the very protections Democrats purportedly offer to all other minorities?
There is another reason to believe the house resolution is dead on arrival.
A group called Bend the Arc: Jewish Action has proposed an alternative called the “People’s Resolution.” It says, in part, that anti-Semitism “cannot be separated from other forms of bigotry that endanger our families, our communities, and our lives on a daily basis, and have for hundreds of years,” including “Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression.”
Including Islamophobia would be idiotic on a grand scale.
Islamophobia is a novel construct chiefly pedaled by post-revolutionary Iran to deter scrutiny of all Islamist entities, structures, persons, or institutions. It is distinct from anti-Muslim xenophobia — which is bigotry based on Muslim personhood.
Second, introducing Islamophobia into the bill would only strengthen Omar’s impunity and her ability to express overt Islamist antisemitism. What we see unfolding is the policing of public debate on the terms demanded by pro-Islamists. They are undemocratic, supremacist and totalitarian in nature.
Democrats have a huge problem. If they fail to rebuke Omar, anti-Semitism will be normalized within mainstream liberal politics, and Islamism will censor the public discourse in our most hallowed public spaces.
In the short-term, this means another Republican administration in 2020. In the long-term, it will erode free speech and free thought.
Qanta A. Ahmed (@MissDiagnosis) is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Committee on Combating Contemporary Anti-Semitism Through Testimony at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.