Via the Free Beacon, are there any non-Muslim members of Congress known for chattering about AIPAC, “the Benjamins,” and dual loyalty who’ve been given a pass by House Democrats such that Tlaib might justifiably question their motives this way? The chatterati spent the last 48 hours blasting Jeanine Pirro for using Omar’s faith as a sword against her for her comments about Israel supporters and foreign allegiance. Now here’s Tlaib using it as a sword against her accusers.
Are we to understand that Tlaib thinks suspicions about the loyalties of fans of the Jewish state are inherent to Islamic culture, such that objecting to them is necessarily Islamophobic?
Or are we to understand that Tlaib still doesn’t grasp the problem with dual-loyalty accusations in this case such that, when she tries to comprehend them, the best she can do is to assume that Omar’s being singled out for being Muslim?
The pitiful truth is that Democrats have bent over backward to excuse Omar from anti-semitism by blaming her fondness for anti-Jewish stereotypes on a cultural or even linguistic misunderstanding. Elliot Kaufman noticed:
Each time Ms. Omar repeats a calumny, her fellow Democrats become more convinced she doesn’t mean it, or that something else is more important. They’ve joined her in asserting that she’s unfairly singled out—that she is the real victim. On Wednesday Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren came to Ms. Omar’s defense, suggesting that critics are trying to silence debate about Israel, and citing threats she has received.
Ms. Omar has repeatedly doubled down on her conspiracies, but Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky offers the excuse that her colleague “comes from a different culture,” so “this is a learning moment for her.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “real concern” is Republican bigotry, which isn’t “treated the same way.” Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said “we need to have equity in our outrage” and condemn Islamophobia, too—which the House did Thursday, approving a watered-down resolution originally meant to focus on anti-Semitism.
These are all tactics of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party: First, accuse critics of muzzling anti-Israel speech; then, complain about “disproportionate” attention to anti-Semitism; next, change the subject to bigotry from the right; finally, if forced to condemn anti-Semitism, dilute it with a kitchen-sink list of other prejudices.
Tlaib’s actually blaming bigotry from the center-left, not just the right, and diluting it with a very specific “other prejudice.” And deliberately so, as a tactic: I don’t believe she has any trouble understanding the specific objections to what Omar said or why members of her own party might pay special attention to the mainstreaming of anti-semitism. Her shtick here is deflection, nothing more: Challenge the anti-semite and risk having her allies suggest that you’re the real bigot to put you on the defensive. If I were a House Democrat I’d be as angry at Tlaib’s character assassination as I was at Omar’s Israel remarks.
Exit question: It’s Islamophobic to have a problem with this too, right?