January was the month the big wall finally fell.
The new anti-Semitism — the anti-Semitism that masquerades as “mere” anti-Zionism — has been on the rise for years.
This new anti-Semitism long ago came to dominate American academia. It’s since taken over large swaths of our media. And it’s actively fighting for control of the campus quad and student government.
This new anti-Semitism is also rising on the far left of American politics.
These anti-Israel political activists are not a fringe group without influence. On the contrary, they represent a powerful, energetic and growing portion of the Democratic base. This is not a partisan statement. It’s just an unfortunate fact.
But somehow, despite all of these negative trends, Congress was safe. BDS resolutions passed on our campuses. But Congress passed legislation combatting BDS. College activists called for us to cut our aid to Israel. But Congress continued to increase the aid.
Now the walls of Congress have been breached.
This month, two supporters of the BDS movement — Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar — were sworn in as members of Congress. Neither campaigned on on a pro-BDS platform. At one point, while speaking in a synagogue, Omar actually seemed to criticize the movement. But since being elected both have issued public statements of support.
Not be to outdone, Senator Bernie Sanders has since strongly condemned legislation that would protect states and municipalities that penalize those who boycott Israel. There is a sense that he’s holding his finger to the wind. He cannot let these young upstarts get to his left.
These are just a few members of Congress. The overwhelming majority of Congressmen — both Democrat and Republican — remain strong supporters of Israel. But we need to look at the underlying trend as well as the present reality. And the trend is alarming.
Abraham Lincoln long ago noted that “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” This is not one of Lincoln’s deeper insights. It’s a demonstrable fact of life. And it’s a fact we should remember as a new semester begins on campuses across the country.