Joe Lieberman: Democrats ‘Failed a Moral Test’ on Ilhan Omar’s Antisemitism

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee at a hearing on "The Boston Bombings: A First Look," on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 9, 2013.
AP Photo | Susan Walsh

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) told Breitbart News that Democrats “failed a moral test” on antisemitism in their response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) comments about Israel and political support for the Jewish state.

Lieberman joined Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily for an interview with host Alex Marlow. 

LISTEN:

Lieberman said:

My own personal opinion is that the Democratic Party is not an antisemitic party. But there are some voices in it, now, including in places where they haven’t existed in my lifetime, such as the Congress of the United States, where there are Democratic members of Congress — specifically Congresswoman Omar — who are saying antisemitic things. The House Democratic Caucus, in my opinion, reacted to Congresswoman Omar’s statements in a way that was much too compromising and indirect.

She really spoke some old and awful antisemitic canards about dual loyalty and the influence of money and all the rest, and that was really direct, and the response really needed to be direct to push that kind of hatred back, but the response was a hodgepodge resolution against just about any imaginable form of bigotry, which I suppose everyone could support, but maybe that was the problem with it, that it wasn’t specific enough.

And the risk there, of course, is that people will reach the conclusion that they could say things like Congresswoman Omar said against Jews, against blacks, against gay people, you could go on and on, and not really be reprimanded for.

Lieberman added, “It’s only 74 years after World War II and the Holocaust ended, and there are terrible but important lessons we should learn from it. One is that if you let hatred go unresponded to, it can develop into really horrific acts, not just speech.

Lieberman continued, “I think the House Caucus — and the House generally — failed a moral test in responding to Congresswoman Omar. I hope they figure out a way to turn that around soon.”

Marlow asked Lieberman about Democrats’ growing support for anti-Zionist campaigns such as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS).

“Israel’s not a perfect nation,” replied Lieberman. “There is no perfect nation, not even the U.S.A., but Israel is a great democracy, [with] rule of law, tremendous diversity, economic opportunity, you could go on and on.”

Lieberman went on, “It’s the most religiously free country in the Middle East, so why would you want to put economic pressure on Israel? And incidentally, it suggests that the only reason there’s not peace between Israelis and Palestinians is Israel. Well, that’s ridiculous.”

Lieberman continued, “It’s obvious that in Gaza, there’s terrorist Hamas leadership, and in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank, there’s a leadership that’s never wanted to take the risk for peace even when the Israelis offered them really pretty good agreements.”

Democrats opposing the proposed Anti-Israel Boycott Act are undermining American foreign policy, said Lieberman.

“The fact that there are previously credible Democratic elected officials who are pulling themselves off of — I think well-intentioned and quite lawful — legislation to oppose this BDS movement is really shocking to me, and should not go unnoticed,” stated Lieberman. “It’s a threat to a great ally of our, and in a way, it’s a threat to our own foreign policy.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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