• Anti-Semitism is wicked.
• That one can criticize the government of Israel without being anti-Semitic.
• That there are many people who try to conflate the two. (See: Senator Marco Rubio as he tries to pass a bill that would punish people for BDS boycotts.)
• That many of those people would be delighted to cast one of the few Muslims in Congress as an anti-Semite.
• That that’s not a reason not to criticize a member of Congress if she’s in the wrong.
• That accusations of “dual loyalty” have long been used by anti-Semites against Jews.
• That what Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said…
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
…sounds very much like those old dual loyalty accusations.
• That many people who, broadly, share my politics, have parsed her words to mean something other than “Jews in America are practicing dual loyalty.”
• That they might be right, but that an awful lot of energy is going to parsing instead of accepting what appears to be a plain explanation of Omar’s words.
• That I don’t want Ilhan Omar to be an anti-Semite, and that has made it difficult for me to analyze all of this. I want her to be naive instead of evil.
• But that if a person is elected to Congress, they should be educated enough to undertand the tropes of anti-Semitism and give them wide berth.
• That Omar didn’t give the tropes wide berth, and because of previous controversies, probably doesn’t deserve a full benefit of the doubt.
• Which means she’s in the wrong.
• That we tribalistic humans very good at hearing the “other side’s” dog whistles and poor at perceiving when they get used by our friends.
• That we should nonetheless hold our own to the same standards.
• Otherwise, they’re not standards. They’re just rules you make for other people.