The GOP Has a Big Jewish Problem and Censuring the Squad Won’t Fix It
Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Louie Gohmert keep getting in these messes because their party acts as if being anti-Muslim is the same as being pro-Jewish. It’s not.
It’s good that 47-year-old Marjorie Taylor Greene learned this week that the Holocaust was bad.
It’s something most of us have known for our entire lives, but MTG hasn’t had a lot of time for learning, busy as she’s been with CrossFit and stalking AOC for clicks and spreading antisemitic theories. Like all people who learn something new, MTG announced her revelations with a press conference about the badness of the Holocaust she opened with the modest and somewhat confusing announcement that, “I always want to remind everyone, I’m very much a normal person.” She concluded by complaining about socialism with the baffling, “There is no veteran that signed up to serve in the military and there nobody that fought for our country because they wanted America to be a socialist country, they did it because they want America to be a free country.” It was, as they say, a journey.
MAGA loves the Jews, well, sort of. One of the hallmarks of the far right is their obsession with Israel and their weird fondness for the Jewish people who need to be in Israel to help set the stage for the end times and the second coming. It’s a “love” that was helped along by mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who passed away earlier this year and who loved Israel, casinos, and the GOP, though not necessarily in that order.
The problem with the MAGA set’s fondness for the Jews is that it’s so often grounded in antisemitic tropes, a tension embodied by Trump trying to relate to the Republican Jewish Coalition by telling the crowd, “I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” and “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.” Another time, Trump told American Jews who support Democrats (that’s 79 percent of us, by the way) that we’re showing “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
The dumbest member of Congress, Louie Gohmert, who accidentally embraced Qanon—oops!—also “accidentally” donated $5,500 to an anti-LGBTQ pastor who also hates the Jews and is known for such hits as “The Jews Are Our Enemies” and “Jewish Synagogue = Synagogue of Satan.” Maybe Greene could take World Baptist church leader Pastor Steve Anderson, who doesn’t believe the Holocaust ever happened, on her next tour of the Holocaust Museum?
Meantime, expect Gohmert and Greene to vote with their party as it votes to censor not just Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar but fellow “Squad” members Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and AOC for Omar’s tweet saying that, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.” While Omar did not say that the U.S., which has unquestionably committed atrocities, is the same as the Taliban, Republicans didn’t care. Elizabeth Bruenig points out in the Atlantic that, “Goaded by Trump himself, they claimed that Obama was a secret Muslim. Naturally, when presented with Omar, an actual Muslim, they wasted no time turning her into an object of fear and derision.”
The GOP game is to pretend that being anti-Muslim is the same thing as being pro-Jewish, which simply isn’t true and is why so few Jews vote for Republicans who are more than capable of being both anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish. If the Republicans really want to win Jewish voters, not just gesture at the idea the same way Trump pretended to court “the Blacks,” maybe they could try being less antisemitic?
Instead, expect a week of false equivalencies as Republicans try to censure Omar for a tweet they never read as payback for Democrats booting Greene from her committees for being a disruptive lunatic. I wouldn’t be surprised if MTG’s museum appearance was set up by Republican leadership to set the stage for more targeting of Omar as Republicans are ready to both-sides antisemitism right to hell, and who better to do it than moron House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who went on Fox and Friends to tell the airheads on the curvy couch that Omar is “anti-American” and that if Republicans retake the House in 2023, he will kick her off the foreign affairs committee.
As someone whose grandpa was called “anti-American” by Republicans and then thrown in jail, I suggest Omar wear this threat as a badge of honor.