- - Thursday, January 17, 2019

The House of Representatives has voted, nearly unanimously, to condemn remarks made by Iowa congressman Steve King. The long-time Republican congressman, in an interview with The New York Times, asked a rhetorical question: “White nationalist, white supremacist when did that become offensive?” The correct answer is “a long time ago.” Rep. King’s remarks set off a firestorm, including calls to resign from powerful members of his own party.

“[T]he House of Representatives once again rejects White nationalism and White supremacy as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States,” the resolution says. (It’s not clear why the adjective “white” is capitalized.) Mr. King, striking a note of regret, voted for it himself. The only dissenting vote, Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, deemed the condemnation too lenient. Perhaps he wants a public flogging.

It has become a commonplace that bigotry is on the rise in the United States. Given that America is more diverse and that there are more opportunities available for racial minorities than ever before in U.S. history, we’re not so sure that this is so. But bigotry has no rightful place in America, and we’re happy to see it dying out.


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We note, however, that there appears to be one notable exception to this trend. Hatred of Jews — an ancient pathology, known popularly as “anti-Semitism” — does appear to be on the rise. And it’s not “whataboutism” to note that this is largely a sin of the left.

The Women’s March, the anti-Donald Trump political organization, has taken fire for anti-Semitism, and rightly so. Tamika Mallory, co-president of the group, is peculiarly fond of Louis Farrakhan, the virulently anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. On a recent appearance on the television program “The View,” Ms. Mallory could not bring herself to condemn Mr. Farrakhan, who has referred to Jews as “termites.” (Jews as insects is a trope that was widely employed in Nazi Germany.) Because of this, and other accusations of anti-Semitism surrounding the group, mainstream liberal organizations like the Democratic National Committee have severed ties with the organization.



They have not severed ties with two new members of Congress who can be credibly accused of animus towards Jews. One is Rep. Ilhan Omar, newly elected from Minnesota. In a 2012 tweet, Ms. Omar accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world.” “May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she continued. Accusing Jews of having diabolical, supernatural powers is another trope of anti-Semitism. Her accusation of “hypnosis” goes far beyond the bounds of legitimate criticism of the world’s only Jewish state.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, from the state of Michigan, is the other new Muslim member of Congress. Rep. Tlaib supports a “one-state solution” — which means, by definition, the destruction of the Jewish state — and supports the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which would single out democratic Israel for harsh sanctions. Even J Street, the left-wing Jewish organization that is acidly critical of the Israeli government, refused to support Ms. Tlaib’s candidacy. When anti-BDS legislation was introduced in Congress this month, she accused the sponsors of “forgetting what country they represent.” This is a return to another classic anti-Semitic accusation, that Jews hold “dual loyalty” to the United States and Israel. The Democratic-held House does not seem interested in condemning or even scolding Rep. Omar or Rep. Tlaib.

A poll taken two years ago purports to show the normalization of anti-Semitism in American life, an increase in 40 percent of Americans who hold anti-Semitic views. Among the poll’s findings are that 31 percent of Americans believe Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to America,” and that a quarter believe that Jews “talk too much” about the Holocaust.

The dangers are not merely academic. Anti-Semitic hate crimes rose by 57 percent between 2016 and 2017, the Anti-Defamation League reports. And who can forget the slaughter that unfolded in Pittsburgh last year when 11 worshipers were murdered in a synagogue? That atrocity was the worst mass killing of Jews in American history.

Anti-Semitism is a scourge with thousands of years of history. It’s probably naive to think it will ever die out. But trends indicate things are moving in the wrong direction.

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