It’s the catch-22 of the Jew: Either quietly accept your place as a second-class constituent of your elected representatives or stand accused of puppeteering and aggression for speaking out loud. And so it was when Rep. Summer Lee, a Pennsylvania Democrat and acolyte of the Squad with a long history of hostility to Israel, felt sufficiently pressured to drop her keynote appearance at a fundraiser alongside figures who had heaped praise on Hamas for its murder spree on October 7.

She was forgoing the event, first and foremost, “to prevent the Muslim community from being the target of any more politically motivated Islamophobia.” That is, the criticism of the anti-Semitism (and homophobia) of her fellow speakers was made in bad faith, and that criticism is something from which the Muslim community needs protection. The Jews who spoke out against the event were thus not only manipulative but dangerous.

The event was hosted by the Philly branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose national executive director, Nihad Awad, reacted to October 7 by saying: “I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land that they were not allowed to walk in,” because Israel “does not have that right to self-defense.” Additionally, the Jewish state’s supporters “have paid millions of dollars for corrupt members of Congress not to condemn its atrocities against Gaza. AIPAC and its affiliates have been controlling the United States government and the United States Congress … Unless we free Congress, we will not be able to free Palestine.”

These statements didn’t reflect some misunderstanding or oversensitive reaction: They were indistinguishable from the rhetoric of Hamas or neo-Nazi groups.

But that wasn’t what got Lee in hot water! One speaker at the CAIR event called Jews “demons” who must “cover their horns.” Another speaker responded to October 7 thus: “May Allah destroy them even worse than they have tried to destroy others!” A third called Zionism a “sick, sadistic cult.”

Now Jewish Insider has revealed some more bad news for Lee. Dear White Staffers is the name of a popular Instagram account acting as an anonymous clearinghouse of complaints for congressional staffers. Since October 7, however, it has—like much in the progressive activism space—rededicated itself as an obsessive anti-Israel account. It has veered into anti-Semitism and shared pro-Hamas material, and its influence on the Hill has increased hostility to Jewish staffers in Congress.

JI reports today that the staffer who runs the account works for—you guessed it—Summer Lee. Some of the account’s highlights: “Dear White Staffers has served as an organizer and spokesperson for anti-Israel protests by staff on Capitol Hill and in the administration and promoted the campaign to vote uncommitted in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary to protest President Joe Biden’s stance on Israel.” The JI report continues, “As primary election results trickled in Michigan last Tuesday, Dear White Staffers reposted a seemingly satirical call for Biden to ‘drop a [bomb] on the knesset and personally chokeslam netanyahu on TV with his bare hands.’ That post was since deleted.”

The account has received increased scrutiny since its attention-getting campaign for the martyrdom of Aaron Bushnell, who protested U.S. support for Israel by killing himself in front of the Israeli embassy to the cheers and celebration of progressive activists.

Oh, and guess the former boss of the staffer who runs the account: Ilhan Omar.

The lesson here is that, in the famous words of former NFL coach Dennis Green, they are who we thought they were.

Summer Lee has been the target of pro-Israel ads from AIPAC and other Jewish groups, and the Squadniks have responded by repeatedly accusing AIPAC and the pro-Israel community of being racist. The fight over Summer Lee has mimicked the trajectory of many others before it: The Jewish community points out that a progressive candidate or lawmaker is an anti-Semite, the Squad, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls the Jewish critics racist, and then the candidate is shown to be a raging anti-Semite after all.

There is a long list of things the Jewish community has been right about, for which it has received mostly demonization. It would behoove the parade of progressive partisans in and around Congress to consider simply not recruiting and defending anti-Semites. This is a subject about which the Jewish world takes no joy in being proved right again and again.

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