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As Jews were being pummeled, punched, spat at, intimidated with explosive devices and singled out for violence and harassment all across America this week, the righteous men and women of the Democratic Party were quick to denounce the twin scourges behind these mini-pogroms: anti-Semitism and — drumroll, please — Islamophobia.
“We’ve recently seen disturbing anti-Semitic attacks and a troubling rise in Islamophobia,” crowed Sen. Bernie Sanders. “If you are committed to a future of equality and peaceful coexistence, please stand united against anyone who promotes hatred of any kind.”
Parroting this sentiment was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted that “anti-Semitism has no place in our country or world. Neither does Islamophobia. That means standing together and condemning all forms of bigotry and hate.” Talk about all lives mattering.
Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Jamaal Bowman, Julian Castro, Cori Bush, Marie Newman and many, many others joined the choir, all singing the same chorus: Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, together forever.
“The Party of Science™ ought to like empirical evidence, so here are two fun facts: Between 2012 and 2018, there have been 763 total incidents motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry, according to the one in-depth survey conducted by the liberal New America think tank. Over on the anti-Semitic side of the divide, according to the Anti-Defamation League, we’ve had some 2,000 incidents — and that was last year alone.
In 2020, the ADL reported, 31 Jews were physically attacked for being Jewish, more than half of them in Gotham. That number will almost certainly shoot way up as 2021’s numbers are tallied, as every day brings with it a fresh case of violence against Jews.
So, what’s going on here? Why are so many Democrats insisting that the beast we’re fighting has not one head, but two?
To answer this question, just look at the perpetrators. Waseem Awawdeh, for example, a 23-year-old New Yorker who viciously assaulted a Jewish man in Midtown Manhattan last week and then boasted he’d do it again if given the chance, doesn’t fit the left’s fantasy of the prototypical hater. He isn’t a Trump supporter. He’s not some angry, straight, white man bigoted against the Other. He is a pro-Palestinian activist.
What would lead such a charmer to savage a Jew in broad daylight?
The answer, according to the convoluted logic guiding the Democratic Party to moral and intellectual perdition, must be Islamophobia: Some other, greater and more primordial hatred must have driven Awawdeh to pounce. Just as serious thinkers on the left argued this year that black Americans attacking Asian-Americans were only doing so because they had internalized the logic of white supremacy, so must it be true that all anti-Jewish attacks in America are really the result of Islamophobia, and because the Jewish state seems to be at war with Muslims, which is a pretty, well, phobic thing to do.
The subtext of it all: Those Jews probably brought those attacks on themselves somehow.
This sort of victim-blaming is not only revolting, but also an indication of the Democratic Party’s ongoing infatuation with anti-Semitism, a reckless passion that cost British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn his political career and nearly cost his party its soul. And the problem isn’t limited only to AOC and other Squad radicals, or any other pop-star politician making an electoral mint by sharing outrageous provocations on social media.
It should surprise precisely no one that the same party that couldn’t bring itself to singularly condemn anti-Semitism when Jews and Jews alone were being viciously attacked also voted, as the petite pogroms were still raging across America, to deny Israel the funding it needed to defend itself against Hamas’ deadly rockets. That’s the thing with morally muddled thinking: It may start with vapid pronouncements but, more often than not, ends up putting lives at risk.
It’s a simple principle that seems to be completely lost on nearly everyone in today’s Democratic Party. Hopefully, its Jewish voters will wise up before it’s too late.
Liel Leibovitz is editor at large at Tablet.
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