by Gary Fouse
It seems the confirmation process for Ken Marcus to become Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights has taken an ugly turn. World Israel News is reporting that during a meeting held in November between Jake Cornett, a senior policy adviser to Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, who was lobbying for support for Marcus' confirmation, Cornett reportedly said this:
“We care about transgenders, we care about blacks, we care about Hispanics, we care about gays, we care about lesbians, we care about the disabled. We don’t care about anti-Semitism in this office,”
Coincidentally, on Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee considering Marcus' nomination, on which Murray is the ranking Democrat, voted along strict party lines (12-11) to move the nomination forward. All Democrats voted against his nomination.
Full disclosure: I know Marcus personally and have participated with him in a couple of events concerning anti-semitism. I wrote to every senator on the committee in support of his nomination.
The above statement, if accurate, reveals a couple of truths. First, among those who are activists in civil rights issues, anti-semitism is very low on the ladder. For one thing, Jews are perceived as being "privileged" and also as being white. Thus, they are not considered as being as "vulnerable" as other minority groups. The Holocaust and current world events, especially in Europe, belies any thought that Jews are not vulnerable. (They are also not uniformly white.)
This is the battle that our forces have been fighting when we see anti-semitism being played out on college campuses. It truly seems that the administrators and the public don't give a hoot about it.
Secondly, the Democrats, for the most part, are on the side of the Palestinians as opposed to Israel. Marcus's nomination has been fiercely opposed by the pro-Palestinian lobby in the US. They charge that his work as head of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which has worked to combat anti-semitism on college campuses, means he would not be fair to Muslims and pro-Palestinian supporters. That is an unfair accusation. I am confident that Marcus would be fair to any group.
The above quote by a top member of Senator Murray's office and the party line vote on Marcus' confirmation pretty much confirms to me what I have believed all along about the Democratic party. To be fair, Senator Charles Schumer is a supporter of Israel, and Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, has spoken out about campus anti-semitism. I consider them a minority, however.
The left is constantly screaming about hate (including anti-semitism) coming from the right. With some exceptions, it is an unfair charge. Thursday's vote on Marcus indicates that the Democrats are in the pocket of the anti-Israel lobby. While being anti-Israel does not always mean one is anti-semitic, it is high time we start examining anti-semitism coming from the left.
The Democrats are rapidly transforming into a party which reflects the major demographic shift in the US after the passage of the 1965 immigration act, which enabled a massive influx from the Third World. Many Jews mistakenly cling to the belief that all poor and dark people who feel marginalized empathize with Jewish concerns, but as the demonization of Israel at the UN shows, the Third World is more aligned with Muslims than Jews. Since much of the hostility towards Israel spills over into hostility towards the US, patriotic Republicans are much more likely to empathize with Jews.