Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had harsh words for her colleagues in both the legislative and executive branch of government on Sunday, demanding that they strongly condemn anti-Semitism in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic attacks, culminating in a mass stabbing late Saturday night at a Hanukkah party in suburban New York City.
Strangely, though, Pelosi seems to be struggling with selective amnesia on the subject, having refused, just months ago, to press through a measure condemning anti-Semitism within her own Congressional delegation.
Pelosi tweeted her exhortation Sunday morning, begging President Donald Trump and others to vocally and forcefully admonish anti-Semites and condemn anti-Semitic attacks.
“Heartbroken and deeply disturbed by the stabbing in Monsey and the many recent anti-Semitic attacks in the NY metro area, especially during this holiday season,” Pelosi said. “We must condemn and confront anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and hate wherever & whenever we see them.”
Heartbroken and deeply disturbed by the stabbing in Monsey and the many recent anti-Semitic attacks in the NY metro area, especially during this holiday season. We must condemn and confront anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and hate wherever & whenever we see them.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 29, 2019
The president, of course, signed an executive order just last week openly condemning anti-Semitism, particularly the anti-Semitism enshrined in the “boycott, divest, and sanction” movement that wants to see the state of Israel punished for perpetuating an “occupation” of what BDS adherents say is Palestinian territory. The EO defines “Jewish” such that it becomes a protected class under Federal anti-discrimination laws, giving groups greater power to push back on anti-Semitism where it is disguised as “anti-Zionist” rhetoric.
The weekend’s attack, also, does not appear to have been perpetrated by a supporter of President Donald Trump.
There are bigger problems with Pelosi’s sudden interest in condemning anti-Semitism, however — not just a refusal to acknowledge the events of the last six months. Back in March, members of the House — Democrats including Pelosi herself, at least at first — wanted to issue a blanket condemnation of anti-Semitism, distancing themselves from members of their own caucus, notably Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has a history of anti-Semitic remarks and, in early March at a meeting of Washington, D.C. progressives, repeated a centuries old anti-Semitic smear, accusing legislators who support Israel of having “dual loyalty.”
The remarks met with widespread horror, including from the Anti-Defamation League, and Democratic House members began drafting a measure reaffirming Congress’ support for its ally, Israel, and condemning Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks, along with anti-Semitism as a whole.
Pelosi initially supported the measure, but famously backed down, allowing Omar and others to rewrite the resolution condemning “all hate” instead of just hate directed at the Jewish people. Pelosi also excused Omar’s behavior, claiming that the freshman Democrat had “a different experience in the use of words,” and wasn’t actually accusing her fellow members of Congress of having dual loyalty to the United States and Israel.
The dustup hasn’t slowed Omar, or her colleague in anti-Zionism, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), from continuing to use anti-Semitic language. Tlaib even headlined a conference in Chicago several weeks ago for an openly anti-Semitic organization, and once penned articles for the openly anti-Semitic Nation of Islam’s newsletter. Omar, most recently, took aim at former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg in a tweet with clear anti-Semitic references.
Pelosi has not followed up on her tweet.