Paul Miller, January 24, 2021

If there is one thing that unites the political extremes — from the halls of Congress and the steps of the Capitol, from Main Street to academia — it’s disdain for Jews. Embraced and excused by both the far Right and far Left in America, anti-Semitism has gone mainstream.

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Bigotry has a strange way of sticking to its historical roots and evolving to meet contemporary times. The far Right tends to believe the traditional lies about Jews controlling the government, media, and financial institutions. Staunch liberals adopt the same old canards but also deflect their anti-Semitism with woke code terms such as “anti-Zionism” — blaming the world’s ills not on the Jews but on Israel and its supporters.

Politicians and media outlets talk a good game about condemning anti-Semitism. But when it’s propagated by a vocal, influential minority in the Democratic Party, anti-Semitism is tolerated and covered up by the Left’s power structure.

A recent example is President Biden’s nomination of Kristen Clarke to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. You wouldn’t know it from reading the New York Times or watching CNN, but Clarke has a troubling history of advocating for anti-Semites and representing anti-Semitic lies as “fact.”

During her time as the head of Harvard’s Black Students Association, Clarke invited Tony Martin as a guest lecturer. A staunch anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Martin had written a book called The Jewish Onslaught in which he attacked Judaism and the Jewish people. Clarke supported Martin’s Jew-hatred, writing in the student newspaper, “Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed black intellectual who bases his information [anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial] on indisputable fact.”

In 2019, Clarke signed a petition[1] in support of liberal anti-Semite Tamika Mallory. The former co-chairwoman of the Women’s March, Mallory has praised Louis Farrakhan, refusing to condemn that notorious anti-Semite’s legacy of Jew-hatred. Mallory has referred to “white Jews” as white supremacists.

If Clarke were a conservative or Republican, would Biden or Nancy Pelosi ignore her past support of hate? Would MSNBC and the Washington Post remain silent over her history of tolerating and excusing bigotry? Of course not. Her recent claim[2] that inviting Martin was merely a “mistake” was an obvious play for cover that the Left is, unfortunately, happy to provide.

In Congress, there is Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and the poster child for liberal anti-Semitism. She has accused[3] American Jews of dual loyalties and of buying influence among her colleagues with their money. She supports the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against Israel and claims that Israel has hypnotized the world. Her hatred for Jews earned her 2019’s “Antisemite of the Year” award from the nongovernmental organization[4] Mazel tov?

Yet Omar’s disdain for Jews has garnered only minimal criticism from her party. Yes, Pelosi asked Omar to apologize, but she never asked her to resign. Indeed, Pelosi endorsed her reelection campaign with a large donation.

If Omar had an “R” next to her name or attacked the African American or gay community, she would have been out of office in a heartbeat. But attacking Jews is acceptable in academia, the Democratic Party, and the press, as long as it comes from a left-wing source.

Earlier this month, freshman congresswoman Mary Miller, a Republican from Illinois, speaking at a “Save the Republic” rally in Washington, D.C., quoted Adolf Hitler in a sad display of ignorance and insensitivity. She was condemned[5] by Illinois Republican leaders and apologized for her remarks. Nearly every Illinois Democratic leader demanded she resign.

It just goes to show that for Democrats, anti-Semitism is a tool of political convenience. For years, they’ve been silent about fellow Democrats such as Omar.

During the summer riots in cities across America, it was commonplace for synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses[6] to be vandalized with swastikas and profanity. This should surprise no one, as the Black Lives Matter organization has a history of anti-Semitism, from supporting the BDS campaign against the Jewish state’s very existence to its Dream Defenders offshoot working directly[7] with a Palestinian terrorist group.

But criticizing BLM is regarded as political suicide among liberals. It will only get you labeled a “racist” by traditional media outlets. Honest debate is off the table when it comes to BLM.

The mainstreaming of anti-Semitism on the political Left is, in many ways, a natural development. For decades, college campuses, with the support of leftist professors, have normalized anti-Zionism and rendered it synonymous with anti-Semitism. The radical intersectionalist political movement has been infiltrated by anti-Israel organizations, creating an environment hostile to Jews. Over time, these academics and student activists become professionals and leaders who denounce anything they deem attached to Zionism.

Across the aisle, conservatives and Republicans actually police their own. After flirting with white supremacists, now-former Rep. Steve King of Iowa was stripped of his committees in 2018 and thrown out by Republican primary voters in 2020.

Leading the charge against King was the Republican Jewish Coalition. By contrast, the Jewish Democratic Council of America recently campaigned heavily[8] in support of Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock, who has a history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric as well as supporting Farrakhan.[9] The RJC, unlike its Democratic counterpart, won’t hesitate to call out anti-Semitism by anyone carrying the GOP banner.


Legacy media outlets are already trying to equate the GOP with white supremacy. Democrats are all too happy to back their play, especially while their own mainstreaming of anti-Semitism is tolerated and embraced by liberals and the press.











Paul Miller is president and executive director of the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter at @pauliespoint.

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