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Finally, a Resolution That Actually Condemns Anti-Semitism


Valin

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Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils

Liel Leibovitz

Earlier this month, after Rep. Ilhan Omar accused American Jews of dual loyalty and the Israel lobby of purchasing undue influence, the House passed a resolution that did not mention Omar by name and that condemned not only anti-Semitism but every other conceivable form of bigotry. Doing his best to hide his disappointment, Rep. Eliot Engel, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “I wish we had had a separate resolution about anti-Semitism. I think we deserved it.”

The congressman can take heart: A new resolution, drafted by Ted Cruz and slated to be introduced in the Senate this week, delivers everything that the Democrats’ muddled manifesto did not. “Anti-Semitism,” it declares in its very first sentence, “is a unique form of prejudice.” It’s precisely the sort of statement—factually true and morally clear—that so many American Jews hoped to hear after Omar made her inflammatory comments, and had the new resolution said nothing more it still would’ve been enough. But in four brief paragraphs, Cruz’s initiative delivers not only a much-needed course correction but also an education on the specific historical evils of anti-Semitism and an elucidation of the real key differences between both political parties when it comes to understanding and honoring the concerns of American Jews. For these reasons, it merits a close reading.

(Snip)

Cruz’s resolution, on the other hand, shows a dramatically different way of thinking. Rather than treating Jews as a metaphor—an amorphous group whose suffering can be distilled into some politically valuable and intoxicating elixir—it is careful to enumerate the ways in which individuals have suffered. It’s a useful vantage point from which to approach legislation, as previous efforts by the senator had shown. Last year, for example, he spearheaded an amendment that called on the Defense and State Departments to issue a report on the use of human shields by terrorist groups murdering Israelis, a highly specific and concrete step to alleviate the particular suffering of real-life Jews. We should expect and accept no other approach.

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