Thursday, August 11, 2022

Oh, Those Evil Jews

On August 10, 2022 Majority Report with Sam Seder became Majority Report without Sam Seder, with his co-host, Emma Vigeland, conducting a bash Israel session with a fellow (hereafter, "fellow") unnamed in this clip. (Given his ignorance, he's better off unnamed, anyway.)

On Tuesday, Ilhan Omar squeaked through a primary challenge from what Vigeland and fellow referred to as a "centrist," Don Samuels. Given that Omar is progressive and probably the most virulent anti-Israel member of the House of Representatives, this greatly concerned Wednesday's hosts. Fellow stated at 2:01 of the video below

it's another in a pattern of these attacks. Samuels implied that Omar was alienating certain communities, particularly Jewish folks, which I think is a smear on Ilhan Omar and I think it is a smear that is being weaponized against progressives all over the place.

How could anyone possibly believe that Omar has alienated the Jewish community? In January of 2019, Omar

defended her 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of “evil doings” and said that Israel had “hypnotized the world.”

“Those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment,” Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview aired Wednesday night.

The tweet, which said that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” came in reaction to Israel’s November 2012 operation against Hamas in Gaza.

In February of 2019

Omar responded to a tweet from journalist Glenn Greenwald, who posted about House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatening to punish Omar and another congresswoman for being critical of Israel.

Omar wrote back, "It's all about the Benjamins baby," a line about $100 bills from a Puff Daddy song.

Soon afterward, Omar invoked the old stereotype of Jews possessing a dual loyalty when she remarked

I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?

Omar also has accused Israel of being an "apartheid regime," which is standard fare for critics who don't know what constitutes apartheid. However, it is an effective smear because it simultaneously accuses Israel of being evil and of copying the regime of apartheid South Africa. It thus perpetuates the inaccurate and dangerous perception of much of the anti-Semitic left and anti-Semitic right of Jews as constituting a race.

Worse, Vigeland adds

Ilhan is particularly susceptible to it because of her bravery in speaking out against the Israel lobby and Israeli apartheid in Palestine, right, and because of her status as someone born out of the United States; came here as a refugee and being Muslim. I mean, straight up there is a bigotry that it- and being a black woman- all of those things intersect in this toxic stew of bigotry that makes her an easy target for these kinds of folks...

Oh, give me a break.  On two occasions in early 2019, the House passed a resolution rebuking Omar, yet on neither occasion was her name mentioned. You may not believe extraordinary courtesy was prompted by her "status as someone born out of the United States," becoming "a refugee and being Muslim."  You also might believe that I could beat Kevin Durant one-on-one.

No bigoted screed is complete without the imputation of racism, so beginning at 7:11 the fellow comments

I think anybody who takes money from that particular wing of Zionist lobbying groups like AIPAC basically, like, anti-labor, pro-settlement folks like that's the modern Jim Crow wing of the Democratic Party.

Sorely tempted to make the bad even worse, Vigeland adds

Yeah, you're a supporter of apartheid if that is the case and it's just being exported instead of being here.... it's an extension of white supremacy. I mean, let's be real and especially in with the news of over a dozen Palestinian children being murdered....

Israelis as practitioners of white supremacy is a particularly repugnant theme. In a guest column in the Los Angeles Times three years ago, Hen Mazzig noted

Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, was not established for just one type of Jew but for all Jews, from every part of the world — the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia and, yes, Europe.

He explains

I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews. I am baffled as to why mainstream media and politicians around the world ignore or misrepresent these facts and the Mizrahi story.

The race-obsessed left now can add Emma Vigeland to the likes of others. Mazzig writes

The likes of Women’s March activist Tamika Mallory, Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill and, more recently, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) falsify reality in their discussions of Palestinians’ “intersectional” struggle, their use of the term “apartheid” to characterize Israeli policy, and their tendency to define Israelis as Ashkenazi Jews alone.

I believe their misrepresentations are part of a strategic campaign to taint Israel as an extension of privileged and powerful white Europe, thereby justifying any and all attacks on it. This way of thinking signals a dangerous trend that positions Israel as a colonialist aggressor rather than a haven for those fleeing oppression. Worse, it all but erases the story of my family, which came to Israel from Iraq and Tunisia.

For most of history, the Mizrahim have been without sovereignty and equality in the Muslim world. In Iraq, despite being “equal citizens” on paper, my family experienced ongoing persecution. The first organized attack came in 1941, the brutal Farhud, a Nazi-incited riot that claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews and forced the survivors to live in fear. My great-grandfather was falsely accused of being a Zionist spy and executed in Baghdad in 1951. My mother’s family was permitted to emigrate that same year, but with only one suitcase.

Any erasure of the Mizrahi experience negates the lives of 850,000 Jewish refugees just like them, who, even in the successor states to the Ottoman Empire of the early 20th century, were treated as “dhimmis,” an Arabic term for a protected minority whose members pay for that protection, which can be withdrawn at any time. Demographic ignorance also works to deny the existence of almost 200,000 descendants of Ethiopian Jews who were threatened by political destabilization in the early 1990s and airlifted to Israel in a daring rescue operation.

Those "dozen Palestinian children being murdered" in Vigeland's telling? That loathsome disingenuousness awaits another post. 

A significant portion of the anti-Semitic right pretends race is no factor in American society while anti-Semites on the very far left continually perceive race where it is not. That's not the way to find common ground.

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