Both ladies, who are declared 2020 presidential candidates, issued statements yesterday in defense of Rep. Omar Ilhan (D-MN). In each of their statements, the Senators spoke of a concern for the safety of the embattled freshman Congresswoman.
“We have a moral duty to combat hateful ideologies in our own country and around the world–and that includes both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. In a democracy, we can and should have an open, respectful debate about the Middle East that focuses on policy,” Warren, who is running for president in 2020, said in a statement to The Hill.
“Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Threats of violence — like those made against Rep. Omar — are never acceptable.”
“Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world,” Sanders, who is Jewish, said in a statement. “We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.”
Harris also said that there was a “responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all forms of hatred and bigotry, especially as we see a spike in hate crimes in America.”
“But like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk,” Harris continued. “We should be having a sound, respectful discussion about policy.”
They are right about one thing: Threats of violence are indeed not acceptable. But threats from nutcases do not negate what Omar has said recently and before she was elected to Congress, and shouldn’t be used to suppress legitimate criticisms and concerns over her repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes, which put Jewish people at risk.
And if these ladies are so concerned about political discourse leading to violence, where were they when their Congressional colleague Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) encouraged people to “push back” on members of the Trump administration no matter where they went?
"If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a dept. store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!" – Rep. Maxine Waters (D), 6/24/18 https://t.co/XKblEpVqdL #ViolentRhetoric
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) October 25, 2018
Where were they when their Senate colleague Mazie Hirono (HI) refused to condemn such calls to harass and follow around Republican politicians and Trump officials?
Or when former Obama attorney general Eric Holder said “When they [Republicans] go low, we kick them”?
Perhaps I missed their condemnations and calls for civility, but probably not. Because when it comes to demands for a “new tone” in politics, only Republicans are supposed to be the nice ones. It’s a form of shutuppery that Democrats have used for some years with a good degree of success whenever they want to shut down debates over issues that make them uncomfortable or put them in the hot seat.
Are candidates Harris and Warren really concerned for Omar’s safety, or is this just another attempt by Democrats to get people be quiet and move on? I think the answer is clear.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–