For those wondering how politicians plan to scapegoat Jewish Americans in districts that do not contain a significant number of Jewish voters, Rashida Tlaib and Nina Turner have provided the answer. Tlaib, a current Squadnik and member of Congress, and Turner, who has twice now lost bids for Congress, have declared a war. Specifically, a race war.

The model, according to the progressive darlings, is as follows: Anywhere there are minority voters—this will particularly target black voters—the ills affecting the district will be blamed on the Jews. This way, Jewish involvement in any one campaign is irrelevant: The bogeyman is the Universal Jew.

“Since 1948,” Tlaib and Turner write in The Nation, “the US has approved more than $141 billion in weapons to the Israeli government as it continues to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Just imagine what $141 billion invested in our communities could do instead. By one estimate, it would take about $177 billion to lift every American out of poverty.”

As a member of Congress, Tlaib knows for a fact that this is a genuinely bonkers thing to say. But she assumes that lots of progressive voters out there will believe that America only has poverty because of money supposedly given to the Jewish state. That would not be true even if the premise—that this money is simply given to Israel—weren’t also a baldfaced lie. In fact, the money is earmarked for spending in the U.S. defense sector; it doesn’t go anywhere.

But a race war such as Tlaib and Turner are proposing needs to be a bit spicier. So here is the depraved duo’s attempt at turning the dog whistle into a foghorn (emphasis added): “Year after year elected officials tell us that there is no money to invest in our communities, universal healthcare, or reparations, only to turn around and pass yet another record-breaking military budget—this year it topped $886 billion—and send tens of billions more of our tax dollars to Israel to fund this death and destruction.… The same students, teachers, labor leaders, and community activists who are organizing for a permanent cease-fire are also organizing for the liberation of all people, including Black liberation.”

This is the language of pogromism, of turning anti-Semitic incitement into an ideology all its own.

The fact that nothing in the Tlaib/Turner op-ed is truthful is beside the point. I don’t think anybody expects honesty out of either of these women. But the lies they choose to tell are still important. “If our elected leaders will stand by and allow American police to brutalize Black and brown people in our communities,” they write, “it makes sense that they also excuse the Israeli forces that train many of them.” This rhetoric was part of the belief system of the perpetrators of the deadly anti-Semitic shooting spree in Jersey City in 2019. It has become many left-wing figures’ favorite blood libel. When you want violence against Jews, you stick with what works.

Another Squad member, Missouri’s Cori Bush, has been pushing that line for years. Bush explicitly linked the racial unrest in Ferguson to Israel and suggested police brutality was an Israeli export.

The interesting thing about Bush’s competitive primary race with challenger Wesley Bell is that it isn’t specifically about Israel or Jewish voters, yet the candidates’ respective attitudes toward Jew-baiting and incitement is a key part of their political personas. Bush has Jews on the brain—like Jamaal Bowman in New York, she can only be made interested in issues local to her district if they can be connected to Israel. Bowman’s opponent George Latimer, and Bush’s opponent Wesley Bell, have structured their campaigns around serving their actual constituents. The anti-Zionist obsessives in Congress are far too busy with Israel to take care of the people they represent.

Bell was elected as a reform-minded county prosecutor in the wake of the Michael Brown riots in Ferguson. But he broke with the left on the movement to “defund the police.” He was seen as a strong Democratic contender to take on GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, and Bell jumped at the chance to do so. But in November, Bell changed course and elected to challenge Bush in the House primary instead. Bell said the district needed a representative willing to stand with our allies and stand with President Biden.

It wasn’t about Israel per se but about the district and the people of St. Louis. A progressive operative and ally of Bush’s shot back that actually it’s just like the Bowman-Latimer race because it’s all “one big fight.”

Tlaib and Turner clearly agree, as do Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on the left. Latimer and Bell want local-focused public service. Their opponents have drafted them into the Squad’s forever war.

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