Last Sunday, a part of 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge was the site of dueling protests, where protesters outside of Congressman Max Rose’s office had to be separated by police.
On one side of the street was former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who recently formed Americans Against Anti-Semitism. He was joined by legendary New Yorker and radio host Curtis Sliwa and others calling on the freshman Congressman to stand up to the continued anti-Semitic remarks of his colleague Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Specifically, they wanted Rose to join the call for Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Their rallying chants included “Max Rose, do the right things,” “Ilhan Omar must go,” and “No compromising on anti-Semitism.”
Omar’s incendiary comments over the past few months include her saying that support for Israel in the United States is “all about the Benjamins, baby,” insinuating that Jews use money to control foreign policy. She also said Jewish-Americans leaders have a “dual loyalty” to America and Israel. Rose accepted Omar’s half-hearted apology, and still supports her staying on the important Foreign Affairs Committee.
Not to be outdone, another one of Rose’s Democratic colleagues, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) last week compared border detention facilities to concentration camps. She said “The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are — they are concentration camps.”
As a long-time professor of history, I often taught about the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews between 1941-1945 in concentration camps and gas chambers. This was around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population.
At these facilities, medical experiments were conducted on thousands and most died as a result. This included Auschwitz camp Doctor Josef Mengele, an SS officer, who experimented on twins. He would pick them out as they arrived, and they would be measured, killed, and dissected. His experiments included putting subjects in pressure chambers, freezing them, trying to change their eye color by injecting chemicals into the children’s eyes, and amputations.
For most reasonable Americans, it is outrageous to compare what the Nazis did to anything. In fact, earlier this week, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum directly rebutted Ocasio-Cortez saying they “unequivocally reject efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary.”
Yet, for the counter-protesters across the street led by local far-left group Yalla Brooklyn, there was no problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s despicable comparison. Indeed, she was treated as a conquering hero and there was even a large sign with the Mother of Jesus, crosses, and AOC (short for Alexandria Ocasio Cortez) on it.
This one sign is the perfect example of how far out of touch this vocal minority has become. They are mocking the church while supporting anti-Semitic Congresswoman Omar. Will Max Rose and other local Democrats continue to allow these people to define their party by remaining silent?
The unfortunate answer seems to be yes, because the last thing they want are the Democratic-Socialists and these folks running a primary against them if they don’t toe the line with their radical views.
Granted, it is not an enviable position to be in but sometimes you just have to do the right thing and be confident that there is a larger, silent majority who don’t agree with their views.
Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials.