After the Iron Dome funding was removed, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted, “Here’s an idea: don’t sell arms to anyone who violates human rights.” But as Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, pointed out in a Twitter thread that the “Iron Dome is a purely *defensive* system” that “protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers.” It was co-developed by the United States and Israel, she continued, and is “used to protect our bases abroad, in addition to Israeli civilians in their homes.” For progressives to use “a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.”
That is the understatement of the year. Omar and her fellow progressives didn’t use Iron Dome funding as a “chit” to get something else they wanted. Their only demand was that the funding be removed from the bill — full stop — and they were willing to shut down the government to make it happen. The fact that they succeeded is an absolute disgrace.
In May, militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 4,369 rockets at Israel from the Gaza strip, intending to indiscriminately kill Jews. Almost two-thirds missed their targets, but more than 1,500 rockets were still headed to residential neighborhoods where innocent men, women and children lived. Fortunately, the Iron Dome stopped more than 90 percent of the 1,500 missiles, saving countless innocent lives.
Imagine the carnage that would have ensued if those rockets had not been shot down. If you oppose funding for the Iron Dome, it means you want to deny Israel the ability to stop those rocket attacks. It means you want Hamas to retain the capability to kill Israeli civilians in their homes. And it exposes the lie that these progressive representatives are not antisemities. When you vote to let terrorists kill Jews, that is antisemitism.
We’ve long known that Omar is a bigot. Along with other members of the left-wing “Squad,” she supports the antisemitic boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks the economic destruction of Israel. Together with Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), she introduced a resolution in Congress comparing the boycott of Israel to boycotting Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. She has said that when she hears people call Israel a democracy “I almost chuckle,” that “Israel has hypnotized the world” and that she prays that Allah will “awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She has compared Israel to the Taliban, and shared a cartoon on social media that was drawn by the second-place winner of Iran’s Holocaust denial cartoon contest. And she said that politicians who support Israel “push for allegiance to a foreign country” — which her fellow Democrat, then-Rep. Eliot L. Engel (N.Y.) called “a vile anti-Semitic slur.”
Now the antisemitism that Pelosi has allowed to fester in her caucus has moved from vile slurs to real-world consequences. The decision to strip funding from the Iron Dome sparked an urgent phone call from Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who tweeted that he gave Lapid his “commitment to ensuring Israel receives this needed aid.” He promised to pass the funding in a separate bill, which was approved Thursday, 420 to 9.
But even if Democratic leaders solve the immediate legislative crisis, that does not solve the deeper problem of Jew-hatred in their ranks. Pelosi made a show of stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments earlier this year. Yet, not only has Pelosi allowed Omar to retain her committee assignments, she actually promoted Omar to serve as vice chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s human rights subcommittee.
Why does Pelosi coddle Omar and her allies? Because with a razor-thin majority, she needs their votes. So, not only does Pelosi turn a blind eye to antisemitism, but also she even praises Omar as a “valued member” of her caucus. Pelosi’s tolerance has only emboldened the Squad, which has gone from spewing hatred to blocking Congress from fulfilling President Biden’s pledge to replenish Israel’s stockpile of defensive interceptors. If they can get away with that, it will only get worse.