Jewish magazine op-ed blasts Democratic 'silence' in face of anti-Semitism from
US Reps. Omar, Tlaib
It's eyebrow raising enough that U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar
(D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) shared a cartoon depicting President
Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu covering the far-left
congresswomen's mouths, their blue blazer arms extended with a Star of David in
the middle to mock the Israeli flag.
Omar and Tlaib posting the cartoon came days after they
were barred from traveling to Israel because of their continued
support for the anti-Semitic BDS (or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions)
movement against the Jewish state.
And that the cartoon was drawn by Carlos Latuff — who
possesses a well-documented history of anti-Semitism, including finishing
second the 2006 "International Holocaust Cartoon Contest," hosted by
Iran — makes it that much more troubling.
The 'silence' of the Democrats
But an op-ed for left-wing Jewish magazine, The Forward,
declared that yet another alarming element is at work: the "silence"
of Democratic Party in the wake of yet another act from Omar and Tlaib that
exudes the odor of anti-Semitism.
In her piece titled, "The Left Can No Longer Excuse
Its Anti-Semitism," Izabella Tabarovsky wrote that "when high-profile
political figures themselves promote anti-Semitic content," a strong
response is "crucial" — but "so far none has materialized from
the Democratic Party."
She pointed out that Yascha Mounk — contributing editor
to The Atlantic — tweeted Saturday at every Democratic presidential
candidate regarding the cartoon, saying "the silence is deafening." As
of Tuesday afternoon, not one candidate copied in Mounk's tweet has had a thing
to say about the cartoon.
Batya Ungar-Sargon — opinion editor at The Forward — on
Tuesday followed up her initial tweet about the cartoon by joining Mounk in calling
out Democrats: "It's been a couple of days since 2 Congresswomen shared a
cartoon by a notorious anti-Semite. Will a single one of you stand up for your
Jewish constituents and the non-Jewish ones who abhor hate? Or is the new
standard if Trump attacks you you're beyond reproach?"
Why the Democratic silence?
According to Gallup polls last year, about 52
percent of Jews identified as Democrats — the highest percentage of any
religious group — while only 16 percent said they're Republicans. You'd think
with that kind of devotion, Democratic leaders — especially presidential
candidates — would be more willing to call out anti-Semitism, even hints of
Of course, they do call it out — but it appears
the sociopolitical DNA of those espousing the anti-Semitism greatly affects when
and if condemnation comes down.
In other words, if the likes of white supremacists engage
in anti-Semitic behavior, Democrats are reliably quick to blast it; however, if
the culprits are superstar congresswomen like Omar and Tlaib — both of whom
are Muslim and women of color — calling out their anti-Semitism could prove
politically dangerous, as they're among the new darlings of the left, which is
quickly taking over the Democratic Party.
And who wants to bite the hand that feeds you?
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro told Fox News the
media also is treating Omar and Tlaib with kid gloves whereas if a pair of
Republican congresspeople would've pulled the same thing they more or less would
be flayed alive.
Tabarovsky offered a similar sentiment in her op-ed.
"When it comes to anti-Semitism, the progressive wing
of the Democratic Party seems to be the tail that's wagging the dog, pushing the
boundaries of the acceptable further and further," she wrote. "It is
meeting only minimal public resistance from the rest of the party. The losers
are, undoubtedly, American Jews, whose safety and standing are being gradually
She added: "But it's not only Jews; the party as a
whole is losing, too. We are now way past the time when it was possible to say
that the far right is the sole source of threat to American Jews. There's been
an ongoing string of attacks against Jews in New York City whose
perpetrators are not white supremacists. Some attackers seem to have been influenced
by the rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan, showing — as if we still needed proof
of that! — a direct link between anti-Semitic words and actions."
Tabarovsky also asked "who is to say that the New
York Times cartoon, published right on the eve of the Poway Chabad
shooting, didn't play into the shooter's mindset? And who is to say that the
Latuff cartoon Omar and Tlaib circulated isn't going to contribute to a future
mass shooter's decision to take action?"
"When it comes to anti-Semitism, it is time for the
left to do some serious soul-searching," her op-ed concluded.
"Pointing to the right as a worse offender is hardly a convincing strategy;
surely, the left has better benchmarks than that."