Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, is leaving Congress to run for the office of state attorney general. For those who long wished Mr. Ellison well but elsewhere, the move has had unanticipated consequences.
No stranger to controversy, Mr. Ellison has been a Nation of Islam supporter and defender of its anti-white, anti-Semitic leader, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan. Now a traditional Muslim, Mr. Ellison has seldom seen a pro-Israel policy he could support or a piece of incendiary Hamas propaganda he couldn’t embrace.
Although prominent Democrats have pointed to the number of white supremacists running in Republican primaries this election cycle and seized upon them as further evidence of President Donald Trump’s ability to inspire racists, none of these candidates has received official Republican support. Quite the contrary, the Republican Party has made strong and concerted efforts to denounce these candidates.
This response stands in sharp contrast to the political careers of Mr. Ellison and similar elected Democrats whose anti-Semitism has been mainstream and normalized by the Democratic political establishment.
After all, for 20 years Barack Obama sat at the foot of the anti-American, anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright without it troubling the political base or even Jewish Democrats, whose support for Mr. Obama was exceeded only by African Americans.
Anti-Semitism has largely been ignored by the Democratic Party. A few white supremacists crept into Republican primaries and were summarily denounced by the party, a fact those who see the current administration as “fascist” and responsible for them fail totally to acknowledge. Yet, on the other side of the political divide, racism and anti-Semitism flourish.
Recent pictures of Maxine Waters and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus embracing the Rev. Farrakhan should have caused a fury of outrage among so-called progressives. It didn’t. A long-sequestered picture of Mr. Obama laughing it up with the Rev. Farrakhan, who espouses that Judaism is a satanic religion and responsible for the slave trade, elicited barely a glimmer of disapproval.
In Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, the Democratic Party nominated candidate Leslie Cockburn, whose Dangerous Liaison is an anti-Semitic screed recycling old tropes about the evil and powerful Jews controlling America.
Democratic Washington, D.C., councilman Trayon White garnered national notoriety when he said that Jews, specifically the Rothschilds, control the weather. Rather than denounce Mr. White, his fellow Democrats organized a rally in support of him and his irrational accusations.
Meanwhile back in Minnesota, for those who breathed a sigh of relief with the resignation of Mr. Ellison, the relief was short-lived. Entering the race to succeed him is Minnesota State Rep. Ilhan Omar, who burst onto the political scene with a stunning and unpredicted victory to become the first Somali woman refugee to be elected to the statehouse.
Ms. Omar became the darling of the mainstream media that embraced her personal narrative of the upward mobility and acculturation of refugees against the odds.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune heralded her primary victory over 22-term incumbent Phyllis Kahn as making history.
Like Mr. Ellison, Ms. Ilhan is another Democrat who believes Israel is an apartheid state. As she notes on social media, “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.” But it is not only hating Jews, it is also a vicious lie. Jews and Arabs shop in the same stores, ride next to each other on the same public transportation, sit in the same parliament, and attend the same universities. There are no separate drinking fountains in Israel.
Lest anyone think that Democratic-sponsored anti-Semitism is an African-American phenomenon, there is always Bernie Sanders to remind us that there is no assault on Israel that can’t somehow be twisted as a legitimate expression of non-violence, even in the face of burning agricultural fields, national forests, rocket barrages, and attacks by men bearing arms.
“Can you feel the hatred?” a liberal acquaintance recently asked me. “Yes,” I replied. “But it’s coming from your side of the political aisle.”
• Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center.