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Monday, May 20, 2019

We want to use this space to thank Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) and Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria (D-2) for penning the letter signed by 25 Democratic Caucus members to Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemning and rejecting the very notion of anti-Semitism by other House members.

Indeed, we don’t need a codebook of any sort to understand that the New Jersey Democrat was referencing the recent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tropes of freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Their election in the recent mid-term contents made history as the first female congresswomen of Islamic background to enter the realm of Capitol Hill. However, they both come with previously known baggage. Omar recently in her Twitter feed has unabashedly accused AIPAC of paying off elected officials to gain favorable votes for Israel. She has also been quoted as saying that Israel has hypnotized the world in its favor.

Tlaib, meanwhile, has gone so far as to cover the State of Israel on an office map with the word “Palestine.”

Gottheimer’s letter calls for the Democratic Caucus to “take swift action to address these issues in the coming days by reiterating our rejection of anti-Semitism.” We stand behind his proactive words. But as long as Tlaib and Omar are public about their pro-BDS points of view and answer to a constituency that supports these issues as well, we look with concern at the future political landscape when it comes to the Democrat Party.

In just over a year the Democrats will be discussing platform issues prior to its convention. We urge Gottheimer, Luria and others to remain vigilant as their own party’s more liberal wing grapple with moving away from Israel in favor of the Judenrein-obsessed Palestinians.

Israel is the best friend the U.S. has ever had, without argument. But the pressures brought to bear by socialist leaders such as announced presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and the continued vitriol from the ilk of Omar, Tlaib and even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pose a danger especially to the Democratic Party’s relationship with Israel. As it now stands, the Republican Party seems to have a better understanding of how important Israel is as the homeland of the Jewish people and the best friend of the U.S.

Reasonable voices need to be part of the Democratic conversation on Israel immediately or we will be left with tropes once again: anti-Semitic tropes. Because no matter how hard the other side wants to convince anyone, a voice against Israel is a voice against the Jewish people.