Pelosi & Co. Flinch from Truly Confronting Anti-Semitism

New York Post Editorial Board

February 11, 2019

 

It took hours of strong prodding by other Democrats, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders finally condemned “anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations” by Rep. Ilhan Omar.

But instead of taking any punitive action, like stripping the Minnesota Democrat of her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Pelosi & Co. merely called on her to apologize.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar had claimed as she accused a lobbying group of literally buying congressional support for Israel.

But she took the cue to apologize — “unequivocally,” she said.

Except she then pleaded ignorance of “the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes” and doubled down on her criticism of AIPAC and what she called the “problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”

Thing is, she should have gotten over her ignorance after last month’s flap, when she had to pull back from her accusation that Israel “has hypnotized the world” — playing off another classic anti-Jewish slur.

Yet Pelosi tried to play it all as some kind of teachable moment, announcing that “Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”

Which is typical: Omar and fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) continually excuse their over-the-line language as mere criticism of Israel. And many of their colleagues play along: Deputy Majority Whip Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), for example, said, “We ought to tamp down a bit of the rhetoric,” but also warned against going “too far to make judgments” about Omar’s latest words.

And New York’s Rep. Jerry Nadler slammed Omar’s language but then condemned “concerted Right-wing tactics aimed at . . . distracting and dividing those committed to equality and social justice.”

The failure to discipline Omar stands in marked contrast to House Republicans, who stripped Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments for lamenting the fact that “white supremacy” is deemed an offensive term.

Democrats need to realize that Omar & Co. are not truth-telling free-speech martyrs — and tolerating continued instances of such hateful rhetoric only exposes them as blatant hypocrites.