Barry Shaw: Anti-Semitism and the “Different Experience” in the Use of Words

Nancy Pelosi tried to offset the storm of criticism against new Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s succession of anti-Semitic remarks by claiming “I don’t think Ilhan Omar is Anti-Semitic. She has a different experience in her use of words, and she doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning she doesn’t realize.” Pelosi showed her ignorance of the cultural and ethnic background that allowed Somali-born Omar to say what she said, and mean what she said. But Pelosi did stumble on the kernel of truth behind Omar’s Jew-hating words.

So let’s examine the “different experience” of Omar’s use of words. For that we need to understand her background.

Somalia lies across the Gulf of Aden from warring Yemen. Somalia itself has a long history of rebellion, feudal struggles and civil war. An Islamic country, Sharia law played a significant part in the nation’s culture. Due to strife and enforced Socialism, the country deteriorated into desperate poverty and hunger. The Somalia lawlessness let to international piracy as shipping through the straits of the gulf was incepted by gun-toting pirates who forced shipping companies to pay ransom for the return of their crew, cargo, and ships.

The Al-Shabbab terror group began out of Somalia. International food aid to Somalis was intercepted by its gangs as people starved.

So it is inappropriate for Ilhan Omar, who found refuge, progress and privilege in the United State, including an education at North Dakota State University, to claim victimhood or to lash out at white men and Jews. Omar never met one Jew during her lifetime in Somalia, yet this has not prevented her from spewing out endless anti-Semitic tropes. She never met an Israeli either but her anti-Israel remarks are wrapped up in her anti-Jewish feelings and words.

You don’t have to know Jews personally to be an anti-Semite. You just have to grow up in a culture that imbibes Jew hatred from birth. It is enforced in their mosques. It’s a permanent feature of the Muslim street in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Just ask the 800,000 Jews who fled Muslim societies and found shelter in Israel, and in Europe where they have been pursued by the same anti-Semitic migrants who are practicing their hate in their adopted new European communities in which they shoot Jews in kosher delis or throw elderly Jewish women neighbors to their deaths from their high rise apartments in France. It is this tribal hatred that forges thought and the use of words and violence against Jews that is incited in a different experience from that of Pelosi and most Americans.

Some say it’s a reaction to Israeli policies. Give me a break! It is a hatred of now non-existent Jews, for Jews were banished from their presence before they knew of an Israel.

The mass migration into Europe come from undemocratic Muslim regimes in chaos and depression, countries that are Judenrein – nations without Jews. One would think they would cast off their prejudices when setting off in search of a new life in Enlightened Europe and America, but they don’t. They bring their baggage with them and, among that baggage, is an inbred hatred of the unknown Jew and through that Jew, an inbred profanity against the Jewish State, Israel.

This is the psychological background that form the words of Omar’s different experience.

In America, her views are sharpened by the nurturing embrace of CAIR and people like Linda Sarsour.

Be wary of those who say they wish to spread a message of diversity. They are the ones who poison the political atmosphere with an agenda of hate and division.

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, attempts to cover up its radical agenda. It has been exposed as organizing a stealth jihad introducing sharia into America. It is inserting its people into local government and high office. It has been caught supporting the Hamas terrorist organization. It subscribes to the legacy of the banned Muslim Brotherhood that calls for the destruction of the Jewish State. Yet it is quick to cry victimhood whenever Muslims are caught committing heinous crimes.

After the San Bernardino shootings in 2015, in which 14 people were killed and 22 others were injured by an armed Muslim with a grievance against non-Muslims, CAIR tacked the dog whistle of Islamophobia on to their condemnation of the incident, thereby placing the flak-jacket of victimhood ahead of an unlimited apology for the Islamic attack.

After the outrage of Omar’s repeated anti-Jewish remarks, and the demand for Congress to come out with a clear statement condemning all forms of anti-Semitic, CAIR’s lobbyists succeeded in cajoling Congress to issue a watered down version that injected Islamophobia into the issue. The unspoken CAIR message was “don’t you dare blame Muslims if we choose to express our disdain for Jews. We will accuse you of being the racists that you are.”

And Congress folded to their threat.

CAIR and Sarsour hijacked the motion to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and converted it to emphasize their cause. They behave as if America has ignored anti-Muslim sentiment. They are wrong. Congress has been passing endless Islamophobia resolutions ever since 9/11 in 2001 after Muslims hijacked American planes and flew them into buildings. They did it again in 2013 and in 2015.

In all that time, and later, Congress has failed to introduce one resolution specifically on anti-Semitism. This despite the statistics that, since 2015, hate crimes against American Jews represent the majority (58.1% in 2017) of all anti-religious hate crimes. In fact, anti-Jewish incidents outnumber anti-Muslim incidents in America by a ratio of three to one.

Yet CAIR cannot abide letting the Jews have their day in Congress. They had to muscle in on the act in order to deflect the attention away from the hateful words of one of their own.

Ilhan Omar professes she wants to increase transparency and accessibility in government, but when Linda Sarsour marched into the Congress building to meet with Ilhan Omar she was surrounded by CAIR henchmen who physically prevented Muslim Reform Movement founder, Asra Nomani, from asking pertinent questions of Sarsour and Omar.

I had the honor of sharing a stage with Asri Nomani at the Springs of Hope Conference in Jerusalem a few years back. Nomani is a genuine person of peace. Omar, Sarsour, and Tlaib are divisive haters.

Nancy Pelosi should be very wary of these people with their different experience in their use of words. They are bearers of bad tidings.

Pelosi, and America, would be better advised to listen to the words of Asra Nomani. She is the harbinger of hope and mutual respect for America. Herself a Muslim immigrant with a different experience.

She comes with the message not to fear Trump, but to fear Islamic extremism.

Barry Shaw is the author of the book ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.’

Barry Shaw

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism’ and ‘BDS for IDIOTS’ both available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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