Clinton vs. Van Hollen on Israel

Hillary Clinton stands firm on campus antisemitism, while Chris Van Hollen submits to the antisemites’ supposed “truth.”

Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally on Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia. Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90
Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally on Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia. Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90
Eric Levine
Eric Levine
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman, Levine, Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the U.S. Senate.

Think what you want about Hillary Clinton, but she has been nothing short of spectacular on the Israel-Hamas war. Her support for Israel has been unwavering. Her condemnation of Hamas has been unequivocal.  Perhaps most importantly, she has steadfastly rebuked the anti-Israel protestors on college campuses.

Who would have thought Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party’s voice of moral clarity?

But just when you thought decency, common sense and an understanding of the difference between good vs. evil and right vs. wrong were ascendant, in step Democratic leaders like Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to say: Not so fast, there is always room for antisemitism and moral equivalence in my Democratic Party.

When Hillary said that she had spoken to numerous young people and discovered that they did not “know very much about the history of the Middle East,” Van Hollen took exception. In a recent interview with CBS News, he stated, “Well, I thought … that Secretary Clinton’s comments in that regard were quite dismissive of students’ concerns about the awful humanitarian crisis and high civilian death toll in Gaza.”

Of course, Van Hollen threw in the obligatory denunciation of “antisemitism.” Heaven forbid someone might wonder where he stands on that issue.

Once again, a progressive Democrat defaulted to the importance of “concerns” and “feelings” rather than an understanding of facts and history. Let’s not let facts and history interfere with the feelings of our young people. They might intrude on their “safe space” and upset them.

To folks like Van Hollen, it’s all about narratives and speaking one’s subjective “truth.” To them, those chanting some of the vilest antisemitic tropes and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and the extermination of Jews everywhere are merely speaking “their truth.” 

The fact that these “truths” are demonstrably false appears to be irrelevant to him. It seems not to have dawned on Van Hollen that these students might feel differently if they understood the facts and the history.

But why should we expect anything different from a progressive senator from Maryland when the Jewish Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says nothing?

Chuck knows the truth. He understands the facts and the history. He is just too gutless and morally bankrupt to speak them.

This is a man who, if you told him there was a hot dog stand opening in Brooklyn this weekend and an old lady with a camera was coming, would show up with an entourage. But when outside agitators and college students show up in New York City on the campuses of Columbia, New York University, the City University of New York and Cooper Union chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel” and calling for the extermination of the Jews, Chuckie is AWOL.

This leaves a vacuum in the Democratic Party that is being filled by ignorant and hateful progressives like Van Hollen. Not surprisingly, he is among a large and growing coterie of congressional Democrats who openly advocate for curtailing aid to Israel and are working assiduously to save Hamas.

To them, Oct. 7 is old news. Time to move on. We have “mourned” the dead Jews. Now we must stop the living ones from defending themselves.

That is the current state of the Democratic Party and in large part explains President Joe Biden’s disgraceful betrayal of Israel.

I never thought I would say this: Hillary, I miss you.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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