New progressive talking point after NYC attacks: We condemn anti-semitism -- and Islamophobia

I should stress that this is a progressive talking point, not a Democratic talking point. Biden and Harris, who need to worry about satisfying a more centrist national electorate, were clear in recognizing that the recent violence in the U.S. and NYC especially isn’t a “both sides” thing.

Democrats from New York have also recognized it:

Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio each issued statements on Friday denouncing violence against Jews, specifically. Noam Blum noticed, though, that the party’s progressive luminaries had trouble being similarly unequivocal. In fact, their denunciations framed the issue in strikingly similar ways:

Bowman, who represents a district in New York, did issue a statement condemning anti-semitism specifically on Friday. As did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another New Yorker:

Ilhan Omar, meanwhile, denounced an anti-semitic attack in L.A. by placing it in the context of hate crimes generally:

Liz Mair suspects that the “anti-semitism and Islamophobia” talking point was circulated among the party’s progressive wing, but was it circulated *to* them or *among* them? That is, did the Dem leadership worry about progs going rogue on messaging about anti-semitism with Israel in the news and push a script on them to keep them on-message? Or did progressives themselves huddle and agree on a framing that was mutually acceptable to all of them? The American left is allied with the Palestinians; denouncing anti-semitic attacks in the U.S. this past week in a straightforward way would have antagonized some of their own supporters by seeming to place them on “the Jewish side” of the conflict, however temporarily. Whatabout Islamophobia? leftists would have shrieked at them.

Maybe lefty members of Congress put their heads together and arrived at the “anti-semitism and Islamophobia” formulation believing that a unified message would make the least political trouble for all of them. Imagine if, say, Julian Castro had condemned the anti-semitic violence while Bernie or Cori Bush or whoever had condemned anti-semitic and Islamophobic violence. Castro would have suddenly seemed un-woke by comparison, with prog constituents demanding to know why he didn’t condemn violence against Muslims too the way Sanders did. Better that they’re all pushing the same line.

Former New York assemblyman Dov Hikind noticed that leftists in Congress aren’t always so equivocal in how they criticize anti-semitism. When it’s a white supremacist rather than a Palestinian sympathizer who’s attacking Jews, they’re clear as a bell about who the victim is:

Correct. The “anti-semitism and Islamophobia” formulation is the left-wing equivalent of some righties dismissing the slogan “black lives matter” by saying “all lives matter.” It’s true that all lives matter, just as it’s true that violence against Jews and against Muslims is wrong. But in both cases, a minority that faces unique risks from a history of persecution is confronted by opponents seeking to diminish that uniqueness for political reasons. Given how progressives tie moral authority to race and victimization, as well as the tendency to map U.S. domestic politics onto the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it must be intolerable for some to treat Jews as unequivocal victims in confrontations with Palestinian sympathizers even when one video after another shows Jewish Americans getting jumped by goons in keffiyehs carrying Palestinian flags. The best we’re going to get from the woke brigades on that is “anti-semitism and Islamophobia are both wrong.” Take it or leave it.