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Jewish and Muslim Democrat lawmakers hold secret kumbaya meetings

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Jewish and Muslim Democrat lawmakers hold secret kumbaya meetings

Jewish and Muslim Democrat lawmakers hold secret kumbaya meetings
April 16
09:30 2019

If you want to appreciate just how serious the schism is between the Israeli and Palestinian faction of the Democratic Party in Congress, you need to know about a series of an informal meeting between Jewish and Muslim members of the Democrat caucus – and a few non-affiliated supporters on both sides.

Even before the anti-Semitism among some congressional Democrats hit the proverbial fan, the rift was apparent to the lawmakers themselves. In February, they launched the first in a series of meetings between Jewish and Muslim legislators to bridge the different perspectives. Whether they actually held hands and sang Kumbaya is unknown – probably not — but that was figuratively the intended goal.

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The purpose of the meetings was for the pro-Israel Jews and anti-Israel Muslims to “ease tensions” and find “common ground.” (I will pause until you stop laughing.) Daa da-da da-da. Okay, back to the commentary.

During the session, there was a lot of personal story-telling. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib broke down in tears as she related the suffering her grandmother endured at the hands of the Israelis. Apparently, she did not address the constant attacks on Israel by Palestinian forces – Including Hezbollah and Hamas. Several Jewish members told of the horrific experiences their family members suffered during the Holocaust. On a personal level, all the stories were heart-wrenching – but that does not address the deep political, cultural and religious divide that has kept the Middle East a violent place for years … decades … centuries.

Giving the meetings a positive spin, some participants said there were profoundly moved by stories they had never heard before. While it is easy to understand that the legislators may not have heard each and every personal story, it would suggest malfeasance of office if they were not aware of the suffering that has been endured on both sides for generations.

While the meetings were to be about the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, they were necessitated by the anti-Semitic comments by Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar – and to some extent the anti-Israel rhetoric of Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who is neither Jewish nor Muslim but decidedly anti-Israel. All three have spoken in favor of the DBS (divest, boycott and sanction) movement against Israel.

In response to Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks on several occasions, House Democrats under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi side-stepped a condemnatory resolution calling out Omar specifically. Instead, she offered up a cowardly resolution that condemned all badness – racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. – but no mention of Omar even though her remarks were the reason for the resolution.

The chasm is so wide between the Jews and Palestinians in the Middle East and now in Congress, what could possibly go right with such meetings? Apparently not much.
Things were going along relatively smoothly as long as the focus and empathy was on personal stories. However, the figurative cease fire was broken when Jewish Congressman Dean Phillips decided they could no longer avoid the real issues. Omar’s comments need to be addressed. Phillips demanded an apology from Omar.

Weeeell, that transformed Kumbaya to Kum-bye-bye. That is when Tlaib began to cry and talk about her grandmother. And, according to the Washington Post, that is when the meeting broke up “on a bitter note.” In the aftermath and in the absence of a specific rebuke of Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio Cortez would later come to Omar’s defense – declaring her words were not anti-Semitic or offensive.

The acrimony should have been expected as a number of Jewish members of Congress were already fuming over Pelosi’s decision to not name Omar in the resolution.
Organizers of the meetings said there would be more such gatherings. According to Congressman Andy Levin, one of the organizers, “This was not a one-time thing.” So far there have been no more such meetings, or they are much better at keeping them secret.

As long as the Palestinians and Israel are shooting at each other – and as long as we have Jews in Congress supporting our longstanding ally, Israel, and Muslims in Congress supporting the Palestinians, you can rest assured that the Israel supporters and the Palestinian supporters in Congress will be unable to bridge the gap.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. radman414
    radman414 April 16, 22:12

    Remember the immortal words of a former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who said there will only be peace in the Middle East when the Palestinians start to love their own children more than they hate us.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Butch
    Butch April 16, 22:20

    I think Democracy in America is over Can’t bring the sides together as ONE!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Capt Richie
    Capt Richie April 18, 21:36

    In excusing the anti-Semitic comments from her colleagues, she risks losing pro-Israel voters in favor of Islamophiles. Europe here we come.

    Reply to this comment

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