A discussion around House Democrats’ plan to pass a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism following backlash to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments about Israel went predictably off the rails Thursday morning on The View.
“Do we need a resolution that says that?” Joy Behar asked. “Isn't it a given at this point? And why are they fighting with each other when there are so many other things to worry about right now?”
When it was her turn to speak, Meghan McCain warned that “this issue is a really intense one for me” and urged her co-hosts to “bear with” her on it, seeming to anticipate pushback on what she was about to say. “First and foremost, anti-Semitism shouldn’t be a left or right issue. I don’t think we should be politicizing it on either side,” she said, whether it’s a “tiki torch person in Charlottesville saying ‘Jews will not replace us’” or “these more dog-whistle moments” she’s seeing from Omar.
Given that Omar is “rising star” in the Democratic Party and one of just two Muslim women elected to Congress, McCain said “the problem is right now, there’s pressure to support her within the Democratic Party because identity politics and intersectionality is something that is important to Democrats.”
“With the rise of anti-Semitism in this country, is it more important to defend party politics or is it more important to [object to] anti-Semitism?” she asked. “If what Ilhan Omar were saying for the past few weeks were said by a white Republican male, how would you be reacting to it right now?” McCain said she’s “uncomfortable” with Omar being on the Foreign Relations Committee “the same way” she wanted Rep. Steve King (R-IA) removed from his committees.
Later, when Sunny Hostin tried to question whether Omar’s comments criticizing Israeli policies and the American lobbying group that supports those policies should be considered “anti-Semitic,” McCain tried to interrupt her but was quickly shut down.
“No, let me just finish,” Hostin said, adding, “Omar has never suggested that Israel does not have the right to exist. It seems to me that Republicans are trying to use this as a wedge issue.”
“I’m really not!” McCain chimed in, also pushing back on Hostin’s use of the term “selective outrage” to describe conservatives who support President Trump but criticize Omar. McCain also seemed to take offense to Hostin saying the issue affects her because she has a Jewish grandfather.
“Are you comfortable with me speaking now?” McCain asked when Hostin was finished. “Are we comfortable with me rebutting now?”
“I take this very personally,” McCain said. “I would go so far as to say I probably verge on being a Zionist as well.” While she doesn’t have Jewish family, she began to tear up as she described former Sen. Joe Lieberman and his wife Hadassah as her family. “I take the hate crimes raising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what’s happening in Europe is really scary. And I’m sorry if I’m getting emotional.”
“Just because I don’t technically have Jewish family that are blood-related to me doesn’t mean that I don’t take this seriously,” she added. “And it is very dangerous—very dangerous—and I think we all collectively as Americans on both sides—and what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me and a lot of people and I don’t think you have to be Jewish to recognize that.”
After Hostin reiterated that she would rather see a “joint resolution” condemning hate, Behar joked, “Speaking of joints, I wish I had one right now!” before ending the unexpectedly emotional segment.