There is certainly much to be said for President Biden’s heretofore support for Israel in the early stages of the Gaza War with Hamas. His early trumpeting of an Israeli duty to eliminate Hamas, his commitment to provide serious military hardware to the IDF and his deployment of a significant American fleet to the Middle East were timely and consequential stitches in time carrying an important message to the likes of Iran and Hezbollah. And while we do not know how the emerging differences between the U.S. and Israel over cease fires, civilian casualties and what a post-Hamas Gaza should look like, there is no denying the sense that America has Israel’s back at this horrible time is palpable.
But we were alarmed about the Jewish future with the Democratic Party by the votes last week of most of Mr. Biden’s fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives against a resolution to censure Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for promoting dangerously false, anti-Israel narratives regarding the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel. Incredibly, only 22 Democrats joined most Republicans (all but 4) in support of the resolution which passed by a vote of 234 to 188.
The resolution, introduced by Representative Rich McCormick, Republican of Georgia, made note of several comments by Rep. Tlaib concluding that she be censured because of them. Thus, the resolution pointed to Tlaib’s statement “within 24 hours of the October 7 barbaric attack on Jewish citizens of the State of Israel” “defended the brutal rapes, murders, be-headings, and kidnapping….by Hamas as justified ‘resistance’ to the “apartheid state [Israel].”
The resolution also said Tlaib “continued to knowingly spread the false narrative that Israel intentionally bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17 after United States intelligence, Israel intelligence, and President Biden assessed with high confidence that Israel did not cause the explosion.”
The resolution noted that Tlaib, “published on social media a video containing the phrase ‘from the river to the sea,’ which is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
The resolution also charged that Tlaib “has repeatedly displayed conduct entirely unbecoming of a Member of the House of Representatives by calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and dangerously promoting false narratives regarding a brutal, large-scale terrorist attack against civilian targets inside the sovereign territory of a major non-NATO ally while hundreds of Israeli and American hostages remain in terrorist captivity.
It is also worthy of note that earlier in the day of the censure vote, Democratic leaders floated a motion to tale the upcoming motion to censure, which would have effectively killed it. That motion also had the support of most Democrats. Happily it went down to defeat with most Republicans voting against it. So, the path toward adoption of the resolution censuring Tlaib was cleared.
There are some who – naively – do not attach much enduring significance to these two examples of institutional Democratic insensitivity to rampant antisemitism and its repackaged anti-Zionist iteration. They cite the bipartisan 412-10 October 25 vote in support of a House resolution introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul, condemning Hamas and the October 7 massacres. That resolution states that the House “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists” and “reaffirms the United States commitment to Israel’s security.” Predictably, Tlaib voted against the resolution and her Progressive cohorts either voted against the measure or merely cast a neutral “present” vote.
Yet there is an important distinction to be drawn between the McCormick and McCaul resolutions. McCormick involved Tlaib’s choice of Palestinian interests over Israel’s and even there Rep. McCormick couldn’t pull very much Democratic Congressional support. McCaul involved condemnation of what most believe was pure evil and was therefore able to draw his Democratic colleagues.
So, the crunch comes when the Tlaibs of this world falsely make the case of Palestinian victimization by a predator Israel. And that is why the vote in McCormick should be very alarming.