Analysis: Democrats refuse to confront hate when it’s on their side

Liberals appear to operate according to a double standard when hate emanates from their side of the aisle.

By Daniel Krygier, World Israel News

Israel’s decision to bar entry to pro-BDS Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was widely condemned by Democrats and their supporters. But a similar ban in 2000 of a far-right leader reveals they appear to be operating by a double standard.

Tlaib and Omar are virulently anti-Israel, the first members of Congress to support a boycott of the Jewish state. Their BDS resolution actually invoked the Nazis.

Omar has engaged in anti-Semitic tropes. Tlaib has described the Holocaust as giving her a “calming” feeling in her ahistorical, upside-down reading of Arab behavior during the Nazi period.

Both partnered with an outright anti-Semitic organization, Miftah, which organized their now-cancelled trip to Israel.

All of this together suggests they hold a racist mindset when it comes to Jews.

But when the politics of hate merge in an alliance between the radical Left and radical Islam, Democrats refuse to call it by its name. Indeed, Democrats have rushed to the defense of Omar and Tlaib with a group of senior party leaders reportedly mulling reprisals against Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Pundits who’ve taken the congresswomen’s side have attempted to turn the truth on its head and accuse Israel of racism, suggesting that the two were barred because they are Muslim and “women of color.” This has nothing to do with reality.

If Israel were truly “racist” and “anti-Muslim,” it would bar Israeli Arabs from official positions. Arabs and Muslims have served in the Israeli Knesset since the country’s first election in 1949.

Currently, 12 members of Knesset are Arab, and the majority of them are Muslims. Most are vocal critics of Israel. In addition, Israel’s Arab-minority citizens continue to serve as Supreme Court judges, diplomats, doctors, lawyers, scientists, academics and IDF officers.

In reality, Israel tolerates a wide range of political views, ranging from the far-right to the far-left. Israel’s democracy enables virulent critics of the Jewish state to serve in the Knesset.

But Omar and Tlaib support BDS, and Israel has a law barring supporters of the movement that seeks its destruction – a law, it is worth noting, which was passed after intensive democratic debate.

The real reason they were banned is that their trip was meant as a provocation, as evidenced by their itinerary to “Palestine,” which made no mention of Israel. In the history of U.S.-Israeli relations, no senior U.S. official, Democrat or Republican alike, has ever displayed such overt hostility towards the Jewish state.

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Democrats have made much of the fact that a tolerant society shouldn’t be afraid of criticism. It should be open to visitors. This demonstrates a stark double-standard.

In 2000, when Israel barred Austria’s Nazi-sympathizing, far-right leader Jörg Haider, Western liberal elites applauded the move.

The European Union’s tone towards Austria was set by Portugal, which held E.U.’s rotating presidency. The former Socialist Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres addressed the Haider issue: “The problem is not Jörg Haider but what his party represents.” By that, Gutteres was referring to the Freedom Party’s Nazi roots.

The same Gutteres is today the current Secretary-General of the United Nations, an organization not known for displaying any warm feelings towards the Jewish state.

The United States also joined the boycott against Haider. President Bill Clinton temporarily recalled the U.S. ambassador to Austria.

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright did not mince her words when addressing Austria’s government: “We have decided to limit our contacts with the new government, and we will see whether further actions are necessary to advance our support for democratic values.”

At the time, Albright stressed that there should be no place in a European government for a political party that “doesn’t distance itself clearly from the atrocities of the Nazi era and the politics of hate.”

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Their actions, frankly, are to be applauded.

The point is that the Democrats had no issue with distancing themselves from hateful politicians, particularly when that hate was rooted in the political right-wing.

The views espoused by Omar and Tlaib are no less hateful. Rather than tolerate their brand of leftist-Islamist intolerance, the Democrats would do well to condemn hatred in all its forms and from whichever side of the political aisle it comes.