One might expect that after the recent controversy about anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party, it would try to avoid anti-Jewish acts and people. Sadly, that expectation was not realized.
Recent weeks saw another outburst of anti-Semitism, this time from a senior California Democrat, and a parade of Democratic presidential candidates paying tribute to a Jew-hater who has also shown outbursts of racism, homophobia, and misogyny.
First, Iyad Afalqa, chairman of the Arab American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, accused fellow Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), of dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel. The California party has not condemned the statement.
Afalqa’s words were both hateful and ignorant: “Shm**k Schumer, the traitor whose allegiance is for Fascist Israel lobby who called himself the Guardian of Israel in Congress is attacking Rep Omar who hinted at the big elephant in the room: treason of the Fascist Israel lobby that Schumer belongs to.
“For the 2015-2016 election cycle, the pro-Israel network has already dispensed $4,255,136 in contributions. The largest single amount ($259,688) went to Senator Charles Schumer of New York.”
Afalqa posted the charge to Facebook on March 27th, the day after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference.
The charge of dual loyalty is among the most hurtful and dangerous anti-Semitic canards, as old as the Bible itself. The first chapter of Exodus tells of a new Pharaoh who said the Israelites were too numerous and might rise up with Egypt’s enemies against them. It was Pharaoh’s excuse to kill male Israelite babies and enslave the adults.
Between the Middle Ages and World War II, the canard went from Jews’ disloyalty to a worldwide conspiracy to rule the planet. It was a driving force behind anti-Semitic massacres in the Crusades and after pandemics. It was written down in the Protocols of Elders of Zion, a false anti-Semitic text claiming to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. It was used by the Cossacks to justify pogroms, and eventually was part of Hitler’s rationale for the Holocaust. The Protocols are still published and distributed by hatemongers throughout the world, including, ironically, at the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism.
Along with the dual loyalty canard, Afalqa’s ignorance was display in two places. AIPAC, which is nonpartisan, does not donate money to parties or candidates. And Chuck Schumer is not loyal to the Israel lobby. I live in New York; he has been one of my senators for 21 years. He has never been faithful to anything except the Democratic Party.
As of this writing, the California Democratic Party hasn’t reacted to Afalqa’s anti-Semitic attack. But based on their reaction to Rep. Ilhan Omar, expect them to continue ignoring it.
During the AIPAC conference, there were rumors that the Democratic Party candidates had boycotting this year’s gala. In fact, they weren’t invited. Generally, AIPAC asks candidates to speak during an election year. The 2020 AIPAC conference will probably include invites to candidates still running.
Unfortunately, most of the current candidates showed up at a different conference last week. Fourteen 2020 hopefuls went to New York City to kiss the ring of Al Sharpton. They included former Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, businessman Andrew Yang, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams, Reps. John Delaney and Eric Swalwell, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker.
By showing up, these would-be presidents endorsed Sharpton’s slander of former New York Attorney General Robert Abrams. Sharpton refused to meet Abrams during the Tawana Brawley hoax because meeting Abrams, who was Jewish, would be “like asking someone who watched someone killed in the gas chamber to sit down with Mr. Hitler.”
Is this the voice of a member of the clergy? Is it the voice of someone trying to unite people? Fourteen Democrats who want to be president must think so.
In 1987, Sharpton accused Steven Pagones, a former Assistant District Attorney in Duchess County, of raping Tawana Brawley. Not only was Pagones nowhere near Brawley that night, but Brawley’s entire story was a fraud. This week, fourteen Democratic candidates endorsed the slander.
After days of anti-Jewish rioting in Crown Heights, at the funeral of Gavin Cato in 1991, Sharpton’s eulogy inspired hatred and anti-Semitism:
“The world will tell us he was killed by accident. Yes, it was a social accident. … It’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights. … Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. … All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’. Pay for your deeds.”
Al Sharpton never apologized or paid for his deeds. And fourteen presidential wannabes are okay with that.
The Sharpton fourteen endorsed the murder of Angelina Marrero, Cynthia Martinez, Luz Ramos, Mayra Rentas, Olga Garcia, Garnette Ramautar, and Kareem Brunner — the seven victims of the massacre at Freddy’s Fashion Mart. They are dead because a four-month-long campaign of hate by Al Sharpton incited a man to firebomb the store. If they don’t endorse the murders, why pay tribute to Sharpton?
During the Justice Kavanaugh hearings, the Democrats insisted that all women who claim to be victims must be heard. The batch of candidates who showed up to be blessed by Sharpton must disagree. During the “Central Park Jogger” trial, where a jogger was raped and beaten almost to death, Sharpton led rallies where he claimed the victim’s boyfriend had raped her, and called her a whore.
Remember the Duke lacrosse team, falsely accused of rape? Sharpton declared that the “rich white boys” had attacked a “black girl,” and warned that if arrests didn’t happen immediately, there would be no peace. Eventually evidence proved the girl had invented the story. Did these candidates spend time with Sharpton because they endorse his fake charges?
Do those 2020 candidates disrespect the Mormon faith? When Mitt Romney was running for president, Al Sharpton did: “As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in G-d will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation.”
These people running for the Democratic nomination, do they even care that they paid homage to a man who called General Colin Powell George Bush’s house Negro?
Fourteen Democratic candidates endorsed Sharpton’s hatred just by showing up.
Democrats have learned nothing from the crisis caused by Rep. Omar’s comments. The party cannot be blamed for Iyad Afalqa, but they are at fault for not publicly condemning him. And by meeting with Al Sharpton, fourteen Democratic presidential aspirants accepted two anti-Semitic pogroms in New York, led by a man who called a rape victim a whore, an American hero a house Negro, and gay people “homos,” falsely accused people of rape, and displayed a lack of tolerance of faiths different than his own.