It's eyebrow raising enough that U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) shared a cartoon depicting President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu covering the far-left congresswomen's mouths, their blue blazer arms extended with a Star of David in the middle to mock the Israeli flag.
Oof. Looks like both Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib shared this awful Carlos Latuff cartoon in Instagram stories yesterda… https://t.co/2cUxjm5x7u— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@Batya Ungar-Sargon) 1566091550.0
Omar and Tlaib posting the cartoon came days after they were barred from traveling to Israel because of their continued support for the anti-Semitic BDS (or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement against the Jewish state.
And that the cartoon was drawn by Carlos Latuff — who possesses a well-documented history of anti-Semitism, including finishing second the 2006 "International Holocaust Cartoon Contest," hosted by Iran — makes it that much more troubling.
The 'silence' of the Democrats
But an op-ed for left-wing Jewish magazine, The Forward, declared that yet another alarming element is at work: the "silence" of Democratic Party in the wake of yet another act from Omar and Tlaib that exudes the odor of anti-Semitism.
In her piece titled, "The Left Can No Longer Excuse Its Anti-Semitism," Izabella Tabarovsky wrote that "when high-profile political figures themselves promote anti-Semitic content," a strong response is "crucial" — but "so far none has materialized from the Democratic Party."
She pointed out that Yascha Mounk — contributing editor to The Atlantic — tweeted Saturday at every Democratic presidential candidate regarding the cartoon, saying "the silence is deafening." As of Tuesday afternoon, not one candidate copied in Mounk's tweet has had a thing to say about the cartoon.
Batya Ungar-Sargon — opinion editor at The Forward — on Tuesday followed up her initial tweet about the cartoon by joining Mounk in calling out Democrats: "It's been a couple of days since 2 Congresswomen shared a cartoon by a notorious anti-Semite. Will a single one of you stand up for your Jewish constituents and the non-Jewish ones who abhor hate? Or is the new standard if Trump attacks you you're beyond reproach?"
Why the Democratic silence?
According to Gallup polls last year, about 52 percent of Jews identified as Democrats — the highest percentage of any religious group — while only 16 percent said they're Republicans. You'd think with that kind of devotion, Democratic leaders — especially presidential candidates — would be more willing to call out anti-Semitism, even hints of it.
Of course, they do call it out — but it appears the sociopolitical DNA of those espousing the anti-Semitism greatly affects when and if condemnation comes down.
In other words, if the likes of white supremacists engage in anti-Semitic behavior, Democrats are reliably quick to blast it; however, if the culprits are superstar congresswomen like Omar and Tlaib — both of whom are Muslim and women of color — calling out their anti-Semitism could prove politically dangerous, as they're among the new darlings of the left, which is quickly taking over the Democratic Party.
And who wants to bite the hand that feeds you?
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro told Fox News the media also is treating Omar and Tlaib with kid gloves whereas if a pair of Republican congresspeople would've pulled the same thing they more or less would be flayed alive.
Tabarovsky offered a similar sentiment in her op-ed.
"When it comes to anti-Semitism, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to be the tail that's wagging the dog, pushing the boundaries of the acceptable further and further," she wrote. "It is meeting only minimal public resistance from the rest of the party. The losers are, undoubtedly, American Jews, whose safety and standing are being gradually eroded."
She added: "But it's not only Jews; the party as a whole is losing, too. We are now way past the time when it was possible to say that the far right is the sole source of threat to American Jews. There's been an ongoing string of attacks against Jews in New York City whose perpetrators are not white supremacists. Some attackers seem to have been influenced by the rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan, showing — as if we still needed proof of that! — a direct link between anti-Semitic words and actions."
Tabarovsky also asked "who is to say that the New York Times cartoon, published right on the eve of the Poway Chabad shooting, didn't play into the shooter's mindset? And who is to say that the Latuff cartoon Omar and Tlaib circulated isn't going to contribute to a future mass shooter's decision to take action?"
"When it comes to anti-Semitism, it is time for the left to do some serious soul-searching," her op-ed concluded. "Pointing to the right as a worse offender is hardly a convincing strategy; surely, the left has better benchmarks than that."