WSJ: Anti-Semitic Left About to Blow Dems Apart

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Three weeks ago, the media marveled at the meltdown within the Republican Party over the House Speaker self-imposed disaster. Now that the House GOP has managed to stop shooting themselves in the foot, however, the potential for a collapse of the coalition has suddenly become more acute across the aisle. Will Democrats split and collapse over the war Hamas launched on Israel?

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As Molly Ball writes for the Wall Street Journal, right now the battle between progressives and liberals, and Jews and everyone else in the Democrat coalition, looks far more serious and much more difficult to resolve:

To many on the left, the Israel-Hamas war is spurring what feels like a permanent rupture, when previously sublimated differences become impossible to ignore and everyone must choose sides.

The weeks since the Hamas attacks have riven the liberal coalition, pitting erstwhile allies against each other as ugly accusations fly in both directions. From the halls of power in Washington to street protests and social media, progressives find themselves at odds with those they once saw as kindred spirits.

Both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian advocates describe a feeling of disillusionment as relationships fracture and harsh words are exchanged. The result, many predict, could be a breach that splits Democrats for a generation with untold political consequences.

Indeed it could, and it appears that may be exactly what progressives want. The hard Left, led by its Hamas Caucus, wants to force Democrats to either kneel to their election muscle by abandoning Israel and the Jews, or face ruin in 2024. The Muslims in the Democrat coalition are not even being subtle about it either, as Ball points out, declaring outright that they have captured the youth vote that Democrats desperately need:

“If you are Arab-American, Muslim-American or Palestinian, you feel like you don’t matter, you feel invisible,” said Waleed Shahid, a progressive strategist and former spokesman for the Justice Democrats, which has supported the progressive Congress members known as the squad in primaries against more centrist Democrats. “If you are advocating at all that Palestinian and Israeli lives should be treated equally, there’s a feeling that the party doesn’t care about you at all,” he said.

The result, Shahid warned, might be that a president already struggling to ignite the enthusiasm of young and minority voters loses them completely—a recent Gallup poll found Biden losing 7 percentage points of support with voters under 35 in the past month, he noted—or that the party splinters as it did in the Vietnam War era. Others have drawn parallels to the left’s split over Soviet communism in the 1950s.

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Note the presence of the Justice Democrats — the socialist group that backed the Squad and members like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They have already had an outsize impact on the broader Democrat coalition, and it’s not just the Justice Democrats threatening to flex muscles at the ballot box. A group called the National Muslim Democratic Council demanded  yesterday that Joe Biden force Israel into a cease-fire, or else have Muslims work against Democrats in battleground states in 2024:

“It has become evident that our voices are being ignored, but our votes will not be. Simply put, as Gaza turns red, so could crucial battleground states,” the council said in a letter Monday to the White House and Democratic Party.

“Your administration’s unconditional support, encompassing funding and armaments, has played a significant role in perpetuating the violence that is causing civilian casualties and has eroded trust in voters who previously put their faith in you,” the group also wrote.

“We will mobilize increased voter turnout to make our voices heard,” the council also wrote. It added that Michigan, a swing state with a large Muslim population that went for former President Donald Trump in 2016, went for Biden by 2.6% in 2020.

“We emphasize the significance of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Arizona,
Nevada, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, where many of our voters reside,” the group also said.

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There’s just one little problem with this threat, which is that Muslims only make up a population that’s half that of Jews in this country, and Jews vote more often and reliably. This may not be an all-or-nothing in either group — some Muslim voters no doubt abhor what took place in Israel, while some Jews may want Israel to stand down — but among both groups, it’s fair to assume diametrically opposed positions.

Which means that Democrats may have to choose which demo to cut loose. On those terms, the Hamas Caucus and the NMDC will clearly lose. Jewish Democrats vote more reliably with the party, held fundraise and organize more and for longer, and Israel is more popular with the broader electorate than Hamas will ever be.

Besides, Jewish voters spurned by Democrats in this situation may not necessarily thunder over to the GOP, but they certainly know the GOP would welcome them if they did, especially on the issue of Israel vs Hamas. The NMDC has no place else to go, except maybe the Greens. If they don’t know that yet, they’ll learn it the hard way soon enough.

That doesn’t make the threat entirely empty. In a sense, this parallels the GOP’s House Speaker fight. No party dominates in the US, and elections run closer than ever. That gives fringe factions outsize leverage within these fragile coalitions, which is something that is somewhat new in the American political experience. Parliamentary systems deal with these factions by having separate parties, holding elections, and then seeing which leading party can form a governing majority. The American two-party federalist system manages the faction fights within their tents before elections and then see who wins at election time. It’s still the same process, and in these closely divided times, a renegade faction can spell disaster for the party facing an internecine fight.

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Even beyond all of the electoral politics, however, is an issue of core values. Israel is the clearest parallel in the Middle East to the same classically liberal values we hold in the US, especially when it comes to self-determination, diversity, and civil rights. Hamas’ charter promises nothing but a brutal theocratic tyranny modeled on its sponsor Iran, a genocide of Jews, and forced submission to Islam for everyone else.

Is it really so difficult for Democrats to choose which side to support?

Also, the latest episode of The Ed Morrissey Show podcast is now up! Today’s show features:

  • Who knew Andrew Malcolm is a Swiftie?
  • We discuss his VIP column praising the pop superstar for her hard work and integrity.
  • The same cannot be said for the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media in covering the war Hamas started with Israel.

The Ed Morrissey Show is now a fully downloadable and streamable show at  SpotifyApple Podcaststhe TEMS Podcast YouTube channel, and on Rumble and our own in-house portal at the #TEMS page!

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024
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