Why Won't Joe Biden Repudiate Anti-Semitic Democrats? | Opinion

At the first debate, Joe Biden took ownership of today's Democrats with an uncharacteristically clear proclamation: "I am the Democratic Party." With that, Biden assumed responsibility for repudiating and distancing himself from the anti-Semitism surging through his party's ranks.

Anti-Semitism has been on full display among Democratic leaders and left-wing protest groups alike in recent years. Leaders of the Women's March, for example, proved so undeniably anti-Semitic that even former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz felt compelled to distance herself. Yet those same anti-Semites—Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory—were featured speakers at this summer's Democratic convention. The Women's March since recruited new leaders—who proved to be just as anti-Semitic.

Black Lives Matter protests have likewise featured anti-Semitic slogans from the beginning. BLM's official platform accuses Israel of genocide, endorses BDS and expresses such blinding anti-Semitism that even many desperate to support the organization have dissented. Liberal Alan Dershowitz, who lauded BLM for having done "so much good," nonetheless concluded that "until and unless Black Lives Matter removes this blood libel from its platform and renounces it, no decent person...should have anything to do with it." The staunchly left-leaning Anti-Defamation League labeled BLM's platform "repellent." Radical leftist Jews with their own histories of anti-Semitism extol BLM's virtues while labeling its attacks on Jews "stupid" and "dismaying." Still, BLM remains immensely popular among Democrats who flood it with money. Democratic politicians—from Biden on down—have adopted the mantra. BLM featured prominently at the Democrats' 2016 and 2020 conventions. BLM's horrifying anti-Semitism no longer concerns Democrats' leadership; anyone who notices it is demonized as racist.

Avowedly anarchic Antifa, which helps spread and act upon blood libels against Israel, has become the foremost practitioner of mob violence in the United States—a phenomenon always deadly to Jews and Jewish communities. While some Democrats have belatedly begun to distance themselves from the most violent Antifa tactics, none have called out Antifa as the threat to Jewish life that it is.

These groups form the new base of Biden's Democratic Party. But the strain of anti-Semitism runs deep. Biden was only the most recent Democratic leader to embrace Al Sharpton, whose anti-Semitic rhetoric led to the 1991 Crown Heights pogrom and the 1995 Freddy's Fashion Mart massacre. Louis Farrakhan is rapidly becoming acceptable among the Democratic mainstream. In 2008, the Obama campaign paid to bury a then-recent photo of their candidate with Farrakhan. Today, New Jersey senator Corey Booker expresses a willingness to meet him. Last month, Biden and VP candidate Kamala Harris ran to meet and praise known Farrakhan supporter Jacob Blake, Sr.

Joe Biden
Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden talks to reporters before departing Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport October 12, 2020 in Hebron, Kentucky. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The danger is hardly restricted to outside activists. Keith Ellison, despite his documented support of Farrakhan, was elected DNC vice chair before becoming Minnesota's attorney general. Democrats long recognized as antagonistic towards Jews and Israel, including Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, have assumed leadership roles. Majority Whip James Clyburn—the kingmaker whose endorsement secured Biden's nomination—explained why anti-Semitism is acceptable from "women of color."

The radical progressive "Squad" arrived in Congress last year and immediately moved the needle. After Nancy Pelosi refused to censure Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitism, any effort to restrain Squad behavior collapsed. Their radicalism, including their radical anti-Semitism, shaped the Democratic Congressional agenda and Biden's 2020 platform. In 2020, with Omar and Rashida Tlaib facing credible primary challengers, Pelosi endorsed both anti-Semites. Squad-backed upstarts who challenged incumbents like Eliot Engel for being too pro-Israel won decisively. Biden's anti-Israel 2020 platform earned high praise from the pro-Iran National Iranian American Council and pro-PLO James Zogby. Congressional Democrats have reportedly told Jewish leaders of their plans to redefine anti-Semitism to exclude the defamations most common among their progressive base—precisely the ploy Jeremy Corbyn tried in the U.K.

White supremacists embrace the trend. Klansman David Duke has praised Omar. Alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer has endorsed Biden. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and members of Michigan's just-arrested "Wolverine Watchmen" parroted Democratic talking points about Donald Trump's "tyranny."

In late 2019, anti-Semitic massacres in Jersey City and Monsey finally focused national attention on the growing violence targeting visible, observant Jews—nearly all originating from neighboring Democratic strongholds. Since then, despite Jewish pleas, Democrats have reduced policing, sped criminals back onto streets and encouraged rioting. Los Angeles Jews experienced an Antifa/BLM riot targeting their homes, businesses and synagogues. Despite data to the contrary, Democrats running N.Y. repeatedly scapegoat Orthodox Jews as responsible for spreading COVID-19—a libel almost designed to motivate a pogrom. Discrimination against Orthodox Jews, physical threats and outright violence have ensued.

Democrats keep trying to gaslight Jewish voters with defamatory claims that Donald Trump—a man who has stood strong for America's Jews, the Jewish state and the free exercise of faith while rising proudly to confront anti-Semitism—won't repudiate white supremacists. In fact, the question Jewish voters should be asking is why Joe Biden won't repudiate the anti-Semites now wielding considerable power in "his" Democratic Party.

Bruce Abramson is a senior fellow and director at ACEK Fund and the author of American Restoration: Winning America's Second Civil War. Jeff Ballabon is the principal of B2 Strategic and a veteran government relations and media consultant.

The views expressed in this article are the writers' own.