There may not be rockets flying over Gaza, but there are certainly verbal grenades being lobbed on Capitol Hill. While the Middle East embraces a fragile peace, the ceasefire in Israel hasn’t managed to stop the internal war here at home. For the first time in generations, a major political party is openly challenging our alliance with Israel. And the fallout, as our allies know, could be deadly.
Joe Biden’s muddled messages on the two-week barrage were unfortunate — but they were nothing compared to the anti-Semitic rants of his party’s radical wing. In Twitter tirades and floor speeches, the “jihad squad” (as they’re appropriately being called), took their hatred of the Jewish nation to new levels — calling Israel “terrorists,” “racists,” and “extremists.” At one point, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) openly called Benjamin Netanyahu the “apartheid-in chief,” (a charge National Review’s Rich Lowry thoroughly debunks here). Republicans, whose jaws have been on the floor since the Democratic barrage began, still can’t come to grips with the level of open contempt and hostility from the Left.
Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), one of the many Republicans wide-eyed by the anti-Israel comments, could only shake his head at just how quickly the Democratic Party is being transformed by its wildest extremists. “It’s remarkable to me that unity around Israel and standing with Israel used to be a nonpartisan issue. Just 10 years ago, it was not partisan to be able to talk about Israel and our national connection to them as an important ally. And now suddenly my Democratic colleagues are turning towards the Palestinians and towards the terrorist organizations that they support in the area. And it’s just remarkable to be able to see that shift.”
And look at what’s happened as a result, Lankford urges. The entire Middle East is destabilized. “Now we’re falling apart in the area. And the only thing that’s really shifted during that time period is America’s posture towards Israel.” On the House floor, Republicans got into heated debates with Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who was asked point-blank why she supported terrorists over Americans. In places like New York and Los Angeles, the squad’s demonization of Israel is leading to actual violence. U.S. Jews are being attacked, spit on, and beaten, because so many people are buying the Left’s lies about what’s happening overseas.
It’s gotten so out of hand that major media outlets like Newsweek have started sounding the alarm at just how dangerous this internal party split could be on the global stage. The Ayatollahs, they warn, are also watching. “The Squad launched into a disinformation campaign that would have made Tehran proud…” In fact, their anti-Israel propaganda is so compelling that Democrats have even earned the praise of the Muslim Brotherhood.
And they aren’t the only bad actors paying attention. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran can all see the Democrats’ support for Israel is sagging. It’s only a matter of time, many worry, until they exploit it. Just yesterday, Joe Biden’s party sent a clear message to the rest of the world that it can’t count on America’s support for Israel even in the smallest of gestures. When House Republicans offered a resolution to signal support for emergency funding for the tiny nation, Democrats couldn’t even bring themselves to back that. They killed it on a 218-209 vote, even though it was just a messaging bill. Well, we got the message all right. The Democrats are now the party of terrorist sympathizers.
“I don’t know in the history of this country where we have not sided with Israel in their plight to maintain their democracy,” Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told me on “Washington Watch.” “But this crowd knows no bounds. It really doesn’t.” Even Barack Obama’s administration, who did everything to keep Israel at arm’s length, never openly embraced Hamas. “There was never this kind of pressure vocally from the Left on issues related to Israel during the Obama years,” said one of his former national security advisors. And yet, as Caroline Glick pointed out on Pray Vote Stand this past Wednesday, there probably hasn’t been this level of godlessness in the Democratic Party either. “The contemporary anti-Semitism that we’re seeing today is sort of part and parcel of the Left’s abandonment of God.”
In the meantime, Christians have our work cut out for us. We’re instructed, scripturally, to pray for the peace of Israel, but if we’re to pray for it — we should also work for it. That doesn’t mean, Heather Johnston reminded us on PVS, “just standing there waving a flag for Israel. It means taking an active role in government — contacting our senators and our congressmen and being a robust voice on the earth today for the Jewish people.” It’s up to us to decide who represents us and our views to the world. If there’s a dangerous shift under way, then it’s our responsibility to correct it. The sooner, the better.
Tony Perkins is Family Research Council‘s fourth and longest-serving president, joining the organization in August of 2003. Described as a legislative pioneer by the national media, Tony has established himself as an innovative pro-life and pro-family policy and political leader since first being elected to office in 1996.