Saturday, March 09, 2019

Really Not Complicated

Seven years ago and seven years younger, Ilhan Omar tweeted “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel."  Responding in agreement to a tweet from Glenn Greenwald, last month she tweeted "It's all about he Benjamins baby."

In case Nancy Pelosi and Omar's other defenders didn't get her message, on March 1 Representative Omar explained "So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country." Anti-Jewish message most certainly not received, given that

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) doubled down on her defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Friday, telling an audience at The Economic Club that the Minnesota congresswoman is not anti-Semitic.

During an interview Friday in Washington, Pelosi reiterated her belief that Omar does not hold anti-Jewish views, and maintained that her criticism of Israel had led her to espouse language that some viewed with a second meaning.

"The incident that happened with [Omar], I don't think our colleague is anti-Semitic," Pelosi said Friday.

"I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn't understand that some of them are fraught with meaning," Pelosi added of the freshman Democratic congresswoman who came to the U.S. as a refugee with her family in 1995.

Nonetheless, if there is such a thing as the soft bigotry of lowered expectations, it is that a 37-year-old member of the United States House of Representatives "has a different experience in the use of words, doesn't understand that some of them are fraught with meaning."  Omar has a different experience in the use of words because, Pelosi claimed.... well, she didn't say why the Somali-born, American-raised Omar is daft enough not to understand words have meanings.  There are Jews in Minnesota, doubtless even in her own district.

Believing Representative Omar was victimized by a double standard, Michelle Goldberg argues

Earlier this week, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, accused Representative Jerry Nadler of doing the bidding of the wealthy liberal donor “Tom $teyer,” whose father was Jewish. (“To be clear, this tweet counts both as inane AND anti-Semitic,” Nadler responded.) Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is one of Trump’s fiercest defenders, once brought an internet troll who’d denied the Holocaust to the State of the Union. Omar gestured at the idea of dual loyalty, but Donald Trump, speaking to American Jews last December, referred to Israel as “your country.” Indeed, no president has done more to mainstream classically anti-Semitic ideas about an authentic volk at war with parasitical globalists. It’s maddening to watch men who’ve flirted with outright fascism — like former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, who wore the medal of a Nazi-aligned Hungarian group to one of Trump’s inaugural balls — act like sanctimonious defenders of the Jews.

Between approval of a House anti-hate resolution urged by the Speaker and the latter's remarks to the Economic Club, we heard from Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver:

Not a bad suggestion, but Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to state unequivocally that she disagrees with Representative Omar's remarks. The Minnesotan, she maintains, is not anti-Semitic, leading one to wonder how obvious a colleague must be before the Speaker recognizes anti-Semitism. Hopefully, Omar will learn to curb her tongue and Twitter finger- or we will find out how far the leader of the Party will go in condoning the hate she purports to be offended by.

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