The anti-Ilhan Omar rally this week was different, because everyone realized that all Jews, even - or especially - the Iran-loving Neturei Karta are in the sights of today's anti-Semites. And that the Democrats are party to it.
by Phyllis Chesler
I have never seen so many members of the Neturai Karta out in such force, not even at the Israel Day parade. There must have been at least 100 of them, perhaps more. There they stood, long bearded and in black frock coats and hats, literally howling at those of us who had gathered to demand that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, remove Minnesota, Somali-American Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
And then it hit me.
They, marginalized and rejected by the vast majority of the haredi world that also finds them repugnant, have quite possibly—probably—been mobilized by their paymaster, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to drown out our words. This is not a complete coincidence since American warships are now in the Persian Gulf.
I congratulated the large number of pro-Israel and pro-America supporters, a crowd estimated at between 500-700, who had come to the corner of 7th Avenue and 48th Street where the buses never stop, nor do the fire engines, ambulances, and passing crowds.
And then it also hit me.
Men dressed just like the Neturai Karta are no longer totally safe in America, they are being increasingly targeted for ugly, street-corner “beat-downs,” hateful verbal screams from cars: “Allahu Akbar. Do you know Hitler? We love Hitler.” American synagogues on Shabbat have begun to require the same military-like presence that has long existed outside European synagogues.
And still the Neturai Karta hold placards that insist : “Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism;” “Falsely accusing people as anti-Semitic is a cause for anti-Semitism;” and “Judaism rejects Zionism and the State of ‘’Israel.’”
They do not seem to know what can happen to them given how hard history is trying to repeat itself—except we are here, and we remember, and we mean it when we say “Never Again,” and the State of Israel and the IDF are also here as never before.
People muttered. “Are they nuts?” “No, they’re traitors.” “Can you imagine such self-hatred among any other group?” “Nah, they are being well paid to do this.”
It was hot, in the mid-80s, even into the evening, but people did not leave. The organizer’s had a truck which kept circling the block bearing a billboard demanding that Ilhan Must Go. It was a mobile billboard—because, according to Joe Diamond’s Media Advisory, the firm, Clear Channel, rejected the ad for one of their stationery displays, citing it as “disparaging.”
Every single speaker and every single person in the crowd was passionate and indignant, about the rise in Jew hatred. Jews wearing kippot spoke. (Dov Hikind, Rabbis Aryeh Spero, Allen Schwartz); Christians spoke (Joe Connor, Kevin McCullough, Deroy Murdock, Curtis Sliwa; lawyers, (Lauri Regan); activists (Richard Allen, Charlies Bernhaut, Joe Diamond, Helen Freedman, Cindy Grosz, Sarri Singer, and many more. Activists, academics, authors, columnists, Guardian Angels, legislators, radio hosts, all came and spoke eloquently, comically, emotionally.
“The Nazi cartoons are back.” “It’s 1932 all over again.” “Never again shall Arabs control Jerusalem.” “Tlaib and Omar are intentionally mainstreaming anti-Semitic memes just as Hitler did in the lead up to World War 2.” Why are Jews still voting for the Democratic Party?” “Omar should kiss the ground here, the country that rescued her. She wants Sharia law, go back to where it is, don’t bring it here.” “Why are Jews hiding when their people are being demonized?” “The progressives are lost. The Anti-Semitism is out of control, it is a serious situation.” “Such blatant evil cannot be denied and it must be faced.”
In my view, Omar is a symptom of a much larger problem, namely the left-ward, anti-Semitic, and anti-American drift of the Democratic Party. Americans are in the midst of a dangerously uncivil Civil War, one that has been underway for a long time.
But this rally was different.
Where were the pro-Palestinian activists with their loud and raging chants? Not there. Not a single Islamist, or member of Students for Justice in Palestine, or of CAIR—and absolutely no Palestinian activists were there. Only the Neturai Karta came out to oppose us.
Just think about that for a minute. It’s beyond belief.
First published in Israel National News.
The Democrats would be well advised to heed the lesson of the 2016 US election, the UK Brexit referendum and the 2019 Australian election, among others. A party of government cannot win by chasing supporters further and further to the left. A party of government cannot constantly champion niche causes against the interests of mainstream voters. At some point, a party of government needs to stand in the centre, whether to the left or right of it, and take on and distance itself, very visibly and publicly, from advocates of extreme causes on its own side. Otherwise, a party of government will be seen as supporting the extremists at the expense of mainstream voters.
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