By the end of business Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, had apologized for sending out Tweets that were thought to be anti-Semitic both by sincerely offended people, and by opportunistic ratfcking hypocrites who realize the power of performative outrage. Omar's tweets earlier had been condemned by the entire Democratic leadership team in the House. By the end of business Monday, an out-and-out racist was still president*, and an out-and-out racist was still representing the Fourth Congressional District in Iowa, and more than a few people were doing the same thing that Omar did with AIPAC, except in relation to George Soros.
Which reminds me, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to meet again with his good friend, Viktor Orban, the authoritarian PM of Hungary. Orban is a true delight, as this analysis in The Atlantic explained.
From using anti-Semitic tropes to demonize George Soros to praising Miklós Horthy-the regent who presided over the murder of Jews during World War II-to seeking to honor the notorious World War II–era anti-Semite Bálint Hóman, Orbán, the self-styled defender of Christian Europe, has shown himself willing to tap into this hatred to score political points. The Figyelő cover, an attack on a prominent figure in the Hungarian Jewish community, appears to be a bold escalation by the leader whose Fidesz Party won a landslide victory earlier this year. Far from paying a political price for exploiting anti-Semitism, Orbán is thriving...
The cover controversy comes at a time when the Jewish community is at loggerheads with the government over the building of a new Holocaust Museum, known as the House of Fates. Its designer, Mária Schmidt, is both an associate of Orbán’s and a Holocaust distorter. Schmidt has been accused of defending current and historical Hungarian anti-Semites, minimizing the importance of the Holocaust, and vigorously asserting that the World War II–era government of Hungary had little or nothing to do with the mass murder of the majority of the country’s Jewish population. Until very recently, she owned Figyelő .
But Bibi is an honorable man.
I wish Omar had not tweeted what she did. There is a discussion to be had about the relationship between the United States and Israel, but it appears to be almost impossible to start one without the sky falling on you from all sides. The Democratic Party once again is getting Pundit Points for disciplining one of its own, and someone, someday, is going to have to show me how that's ever translated into success at the polls. And if they boot her off the Foreign Affairs committee, as is being demanded by (among others) Louie Gohmert, Padishah Emperor of the Crazy People, then they've truly been scared off the trolley again.
(And, not for nothing, but the flying monkeys also are after Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Gee, two Muslim women have attracted their attention. What were the odds?)
To be sure, Omar blundered into a controversy neither she nor her party needed, and she apparently hasn't been around long enough to know that the leadership of her party is as likely to bail on her as not. Right now, on this issue, there is a serious bipartisan effort going on to choke off a specific form of perfectly constitutional political protest. You have to read the room.