If we had known that a Democratic majority in the House would be this entertaining — and revealing — we might have been inclined to support it last November. Today’s moment of enlightenment will come in a vote today on whether to support one of America’s closest allies, or whether to cheer on a boycott aimed at their destruction. Decisions, decisions …
The House is slated to pass legislation Tuesday to oppose the global boycott movement against Israel, a vote that will put a spotlight both on Democratic divisions and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Most Democrats in the House oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign meant to exert pressure on Israel over treatment of the Palestinians. Critics say it would isolate and harm Israel, which retains strong support in Congress from both parties.
But the BDS movement has support in Congress from some progressives, including Omar, who has offered her own resolution affirming the rights of Americans to participate in boycotts meant to promote human rights either in the United States or other countries.
Omar has cited boycotts of Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa in making the case for her resolution — comparisons that have drawn the ire of Israel’s supporters.
Even that might be explainable if it happened in a vacuum. Unfortunately, all of the other anti-Semitic comments made by Omar in her brief time in office gives the game away on BDS and her true intent in supporting it. Nancy Pelosi has twice had to act to clean up after Omar, although in the second instance she watered down a resolution rebuking Omar’s anti-Semitism into a gutless “gee, ain’t hate bad?” statement.
At least Pelosi’s smart enough to get this over quickly:
Democratic leaders, conscious of the intraparty debate, are bringing the anti-BDS resolution to the floor under a fast-track process, known as suspension of the rules, that requires a two-thirds supermajority for passage with only 40 minutes of debate — a briefer period that will cut down on the theatrics of a divided party.
It might “cut down” the popcorn-passing period, but it won’t eliminate it. Republicans have made it clear that they won’t play games with Israel, with 90% of their caucus signed on as co-sponsors. Democrats only have two-thirds of their caucus co-sponsoring the bill, according to The Hill, and getting outpaced by the GOP on their own bill isn’t a very good look for Pelosi. Where are the other Democrats? Are they lining up behind Omar and Rashida Tlaib in supporting the BDS endorsement? Or behind John Lewis in providing tacit political cover to its anti-Israel aims?
That sets up a big, big fight between the hard-Left progressives, who have co-opted the Palestinian cause as a knee-jerk attack on traditional US consensus on foreign policy, and the rest of the Democratic Party. It’s hardly the only fault line, but it might turn out to be one of the most active of them. It certainly has the potential to be among the most embarrassing of them, especially with the progressives being led by House members with a propensity of making anti-Semitic comments in public. At some point, the Democrats’ small but loyal Jewish voting bloc will have to wonder just what it is they’re supporting.
And Republicans can keep passing the popcorn.
Update: Pelosi no doubt is keeping this in mind, too:
Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters nationwide consider Antisemitism to be a serious problem in the United States. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 27% disagree.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Israel. That total includes 78% of Republicans, 67% of Independents, and 58% of Democrats (see crosstab results).
In the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict, 32% believe the U.S. should support Israel while 5% believe our nation should support the Palestinians. Sixteen percent (16%) believe we should support both, 21% say neither, and 26% are not sure.
By a 52% to 2% margin, Republicans believe we should support Israel over the Palestinians. Independent voters agree by a 29% to 3% margin. Among Democrats, 18% believe we should support Israel while 10% want us to support the Palestinians.