“We Will Remember This”
The worst mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust brings home to Democrats that the Party should have seen the sea change in its coalition long before 7 October. Ben Domenech, editor-at-large of The Spectator.com, explains:
Painting Themselves into a Corner
For as much as the 2018 elections of the Squad – Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley – were met with enthusiasm by progressive activists and the media, it was clear at the time that the group would be brought to heel by Nancy Pelosi. The then-speaker smiled as she posed with Ocasio-Cortez and Omar on the cover of Rolling Stone, navigated around their fiercest public comments — and prevented their agenda, for the most part, from becoming central to the Democratic mission. (Defunding the police? “That’s not the position of the Democratic Party,” (Nancy Pelosi) told George Stephanopoulos.)
The message was clear. The Squad could be a shiny multiracial symbol of pride for the left, but that’s all they were going to be under Pelosi — their legislative effectiveness reduced to AOC crying on the floor in 2021 as another billion dollars for Israel’s Iron Dome passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
How Tlaib Replaced John Conyers
Rashida Tlaib – a Detroit-born Muslim and daughter of a former Ford Motor assembly line worker – is at the center of the center of the antisemitic controversy, argues Mr. Domenech. Tlaib won 31% of the vote in a sxi-way primary to replace one of the longest serving members in the history of Congress, John Conyers.
(Tlaib’s) embrace of anti-Israel rhetoric since arriving in Congress plays all the hits: she regularly refers to Israel as an “apartheid state.” She has accused those who vote against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement of dual loyalty, saying they “forgot what country they represent.” She retweets cartoons with antisemitic tropes, speaks to groups denounced for their antisemitic rhetoric and even all the way back in 2020 her office had to delete a tweet containing that key phrase: “From the river to the sea.”
Two weeks after Hamas attack on Israel, Tlaib gave an “emotional” speech on the National Mall, pointing a finger at President Joe Biden:
“To my president, to our president… I want him to know, as a Palestinian American and also somebody of Muslim faith, I’m not going to forget this. And I think a lot of people are not going to forget this,” warned Tlaib. “President Biden, not all Americans are with you on this one and you need to understand that. We are literally watching people commit genocide and killing the vast majority just like this, and we still stand by and say nothing. We will remember this.”
Tlaib’s escalating rhetoric and social media activity finally prompted a rare rebuke when more than 20 of her fellow Democrats joined Republicans to pass a censure resolution, just one step below removal from Congress. “Partisan loyalty can only go so far,” Domenech explains.
What is true is how the Squad’s political energy has grown.
With the additions of would-be police-defunder Cori Bush, the fire-alarm-pulling Jamaal Bowman, thirst-striker Greg Casar and Summer Lee, who positively compared the BDS movement to Black Lives Matter, the progressives have become much louder in the absence of clear leaders from the old Democratic guard.
For many Americans — Democrat, Republican and independent — the assumption of support for Israel is automatic and deeply ingrained. Support for Israel is especially strong among Christians who embrace a vision of America as a fundamentally Judeo-Christian nation, but also among an older class of Democrats who lived through the racial tensions of the Eighties and early Nineties and strongly wish to avoid a repeat of the unrest.
How to Explain the Left’s Israel Divide?
A great part is the difference in the educational priorities of the academic left of today. Messages spread like wildfire through TikTok and social media, continues Domenech. An “older generation of Democrats remember a time before fifteen seconds ago. (It’s perhaps no coincidence that one of Tlaib’s first prominent reactions to criticism was to call for a boycott of HBO host Bill Maher, an ACLU Democrat from the age when the ACLU was actually about academic freedom and civil liberties.)”
In late November, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the latest wave of antisemitism was coming from “people that most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers.”
… smart Democrats understand that electoral success is unlikely to come from echoing the messages of the Democratic Socialists of America, Black Lives Matter, the DEI agenda, the CRT agenda, the 1619 Project or any part of the corporatized and monetized decolonization agenda which promotes blame and victimhood. But they’ve now spent years allowing these projects to gain power within the Democratic Party, with little response. They’ve put them at the podium and given them glossy profiles, even as the Squad emphatically insisted that Israel is an apartheid state that should be expunged from the planet.
The academic left taught them to think, the Democrats bought them a mega- phone — and now they are shouting through it. And when the Biden-Pelosi generation is gone, who will be left to stop them?
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