Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By Daled Amos

We've seen that Trump is determined to paint the Democratic party as the party of AOC, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

With the latest blowup over Israel banning Omar and Tlaib from entering the country -- Trump, Omar and Tlaib are at it again, but this time with not only Israel, but also the American Jewish community itself caught in the middle.

Yet some of the themes and some of the accusations being cast back and forth seemed oddly familiar, with a certain double standard being applied.

This is especially apparent on Twitter.

Deflecting Criticism With Impunity

In the current situation, we see Omar deflecting criticism of her support of BDS and her and Tlaib's reliance on the viciously antisemitic Miftah, by claiming the criticism is really all about her and Tlaib being Muslim:

But oddly enough, we have seen that when there is even a hint that criticism of Israel is being deflected by claiming it is antisemitic -- there is an uproar that this is proof that defenders of Israel are evading the issue.

Do We Want Netanyahu To Have a Good Relationship With The US President?

David Hazony points out that not so long ago we were told about the importance of Netanyahu having proper respect for the President of the United States:

That is an idea that Herb Keinon dwells on:
Netanyahu, and by extension Israel, were damned when they had a difficult relationship with the US president, and now Netanyahu, and by extension Israel, is damned for enjoying a good relationship with the US president.
At Powerline Blog, Paul Mirengoff expands on this idea:
When Barack Obama was in office, Benjamin Netanyahu had a terrible relationship with the American president. Back then, as Herb Keinon reminds us, liberals and their media pals insisted it was crucial that the Israeli prime minister have a strong relationship with the president of the U.S.

These days, Netanyahu’s relationship with the American president could hardly be stronger. So what’s the liberal/media line now? Netanyahu is too close to President Trump.

Exhibit A is Netanyahu’s decision to cancel a visit to Israel by Reps. Omar and Tlaib — a visit that apparently was going to take place until Trump tweeted that it shouldn’t. But if the relationship between the U.S. president and the Israeli prime minister is so important, why shouldn’t Netanyahu take Trump’s opinion into account when making what probably was a close call?
Well, actually, strong relations with the president would be considered a good thing -- even with a Republican president -- but in this case, where Trump has been so thoroughly demonized by the Left and the Media, it really is no surprise to see Netanyahu criticized for having a good working relationship with him. After all, the ban is carefully framed as an example of Netanyahu giving in to Trump and being manipulated by him, which makes matters seem even worse.

Calling Jewish Loyalty Into Question Yet Again

Just when it seemed that the uproar over Israel refusing entry to Omar and Tlaib was beginning to wane, Trump stirred things up again:

Not that we haven't seen other politicians in Washington recently accuse Jews of disloyalty:

If there is a difference, it would be that Omar was accusing Jews of being disloyal to the US and being guilty of dual loyalty.

Trump, on the other hand, in his own sloppy way, seemed to be saying that Jews voting for Democrats were being disloyal to the Jewish community as a whole.

But as far as his opponents were concerned, it was a difference without a distinction and they are playing it up for all it was worth.

Lost in this kerfuffle, was the fact that another Democrat was throwing around accusations of disloyalty as well

Congressman Ted Lieu accused US Ambassador David Friedman of being disloyal to the US by defending Israel's decision to ban Omar and Tlaib.

It was a sharp attack and Lieu later deleted the tweet and gave an unapologetic apology:

But as pointed out on Legal Insurrection, Lieu's excuse in pleading ignorance was not altogether honest.

Just last month, Lieu indicated he understood full well the impact of being accused of having dual loyalties, both in general and to Jews:
The suspicion that immigrants are not to be trusted or are unpatriotic is not just wrong, it is un-American. And dangerous. Yet it has marred America's past, including with the 19th-century "Yellow Peril" hysteria, the internment during World War II of more than 110,000 people who happened to be of Japanese descent and accusations against Jewish Americans of harboring dual loyalties. [emphasis added]
Even now, there are reports that as a result of the anger of Democrats, Israel’s ambassador to the US is done in the House, and the US ambassador to Israel may not be far behind.

Lost in all this is that Friedman, as ambassador, represents Trump -- not the American people.

When Cartoons Become Antisemitic Weapons

Remember when the Trump came out with this tweet, which he later deleted:

All that uproar over a star of David being used -- and Trump was again being accused of antisemitism.

But that kind of outrage is very selective.

As much as the media loves to jump at the chance to accuse Trump of antisemitism, that same media takes care to mute their criticism of Omar-Tlaib when they do something similar:

Oof. Looks like both Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib shared this awful Carlos Latuff cartoon in Instagram stories yesterday. In 2006, Latuff came in second in Iran's International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, which is a thing that exists, in case you thought the TL couldn't get any worse.
Putting aside Latuff's history of antisemitic cartoons and his mocking of the Holocaust, this cartoon -- which Omar and Tlaib eagerly shared -- shows the arms of Trump and Netanyahu forming the stripes of the Israeli flag, with a Jewish star in the middle, implying a conspiratorial connection between Trump and Netanyahu, something we haven't seen in a cartoon since The New York Times graced its pages with this:
Not that The New York Times has learned its lesson and would call out the antisemitism of the Latuff cartoon:
The Times, after publishing an antisemitic cartoon in its international edition a few months ago, editorialized it is a “dangerous mistake“ to dismiss antisemitism as a fringe element in society, but on Miftah, Tlaib, and Omar the paper continues to fall painfully short of “unblinking journalism and the clear editorial expression of its values.” Or its values seem to require a certain amount of blinking.

Jews and/or Israel are accused of
Hiding behind claims of antisemitism to avoid criticism
o  Allowing Trump to dictate Israeli policy
o  Trying to influence US policy
o  Being accused of dual loyalty
o  Trying to control Muslims
And through it all, Jews are becoming ever more aware that the hatred of Jews that we read about happening in Europe has reached the US and is getting worse.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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