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The Democrats missed their moment - what now?
Democratic leaders have been cynical and slow in addressing Jew-hatred within their party, perhaps because they believe most Jews will remain Democrats regardless of how the party treats them or regards Israel.
by Matthew Hausman
Despite indignant denials, the Democratic Party has enabled anti-Semitism as progressives have embraced ancient stereotypes and asserted them against Israel. Haters who push claims of undue Jewish influence, divided loyalties, and even blood libel are accepted under the mantle of inclusiveness, and partisan apologists sanitize bigotry by calling it political speech, mendaciously distinguishing contempt for Israel from hatred of Jews, and tolerating slanders against the Jewish State. When challenged for permitting such conduct, they invoke free speech to defend those who make ridiculous accusations – e.g., that Israel engages in ethnic cleansing, controls international finance, or practices apartheid. But after the election of a few high-profile extremists last November, some Democrats finally began to admit they had a problem, although they failed to seize the moment, acknowledge responsibility, and pledge genuine change.
Not all Democrats can agree on whether a problem even exists; and those who do are divided over whether to punish the offenders or issue denunciations that specifically mention anti-Semitism. The glaring hypocrisy is that Democrats would not tolerate such moral ambiguity from across the aisle. If Congressional Republicans were to repeatedly malign African Americans, gay people, or women, Democrats would demand that the offenders be publicly chastised as racists, homophobes, and sexists; and they would be outraged at any attempt to dilute the message to appease party extremists.
When it comes to anti-Semitism, however, too many Democrats seem to be ethically challenged and morally blind.
Their inability to condemn anti-Semitism without qualification should not be surprising, given their failure to confront the tide of Jew-hatred that surged during the Obama administration. Or their tendency to deflect by blaming Republicans for intolerance that today comes predominantly from the left. The inconvenient truth is that the skyrocketing rate of bias incidents against Jews is not primarily the fault of conservatives or the political right, but increasingly of progressives and their constituencies.
The glaring hypocrisy is that Democrats would not tolerate such moral ambiguity from across the aisle...
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