John Derbyshire: One Cheer For Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishupolis)
Print Friendly and PDF

Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively on 

Adding to the stock of public merriment this week was Ilhan Omar, the dimwitted Democrat Representative from Minnesota's 5th District.

Ms. Omar has been rather free with remarks about how Jews are too fond of money, use their money for disproportionate influence in our politics, have dual loyalties and in some cases dual American and Israeli citizenship, and so on.

As I noted in the February 15th podcast, this is Third-Rail stuff, like talking openly about black crime rates. Also like that other Third Rail (which I guess is then a fourth rail … whatever), there's some truth behind what she says—truth rooted in group differences.

Ashkenazi Jews have high average intelligence, so they do disproportionately well in free societies like ours. I don't know that they are any more fond of money than the rest of us—I'm pretty fond of the stuff myself—but they make more of it per capita because of their success. And yes, U.S. foreign policy is tilted towards Israel more than it would be if none of that was the case.

This is one of those zones, along with global warming and the vaccination controversy, that I don't venture into much. In part that's because, like those other zones, it's inhabited by way too many shrieking monomaniacs of one faction or another. Mostly, though, I just don't think it's a big deal.

Sure, we're partial to Israel, perhaps more than we should be; but we don't have a war guarantee with them, as we do with South Korea or our twenty-eight allies in NATO.

If Russia attacks Estonia, we are treaty-bound to go to war with Russia, a major nuclear power. If North Korea attacks South Korea, we're back at war with the Norks, a minor nuclear power.

If Egypt attacks Israel I assume we'd take Israel's side, with diplomatic and material support, but we're not under any obligation to do so, and it's highly unlikely we'd send an expeditionary force. I would certainly be against sending one.

If I'm going to lose sleep over foreign commitments, I'm going to lose it over these crazy, absurd, outdated treaty obligations we have to come to the defense of countries that are rich and populous enough to defend themselves, either alone or in local alliances.

The thrust of our foreign policy should be to press the Europeans, the Koreans, the Japanese, and the rest to be as militarily self-reliant as the Israelis are.

My foreign policy ideal is precisely the one voiced by an American President two hundred years ago, who said that America

goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

That's where we stand with Israel, isn't it? If it's not, it's where I would want us to stand. I'd also want us to stand there in respect of other free, independent nations. I really like that ideal.

So I'm not much disturbed by Ms. Omar's indiscretions. I'll even raise one cheer for them. She's talking about group differences, after all. We have a taboo on talking about group differences, and I think that taboo is dumb and counter-productive.

Shouting down all talk of group differences with screams of "bigotry!" "prejudice!" "racism!" "antisemitism!" doesn't help us towards a fairer and more harmonious society, whether the group at issue is Jews, blacks, or Somali Muslims.

And on one of Ms. Omar's points, I heartily agree. Dual citizenship is a simply terrible idea. I don't know why we tolerate it.

No, wait, actually I do know. We tolerate it because of a 1967 Supreme Court ruling, Afroyim v. Rusk. That's something Congress could fix, though, if Congress were capable of doing anything more than passing vapid virtue-signaling resolutions.

When I got U.S. citizenship I heard a lot of advice from other British expats about how I could keep my U.K. passport—in effect, be a dual citizen. My stock reply to them was: "You only have one mother, you only have one country." My old passport has long since expired, and gathers dust in a memento box in my attic. I'm an American.

We should outlaw dual citizenship.

Of course, the really fun thing about Ms. Omar's indiscretions has been the quandary in which they put the Democratic Party.

Yes, Ashkenazi Jews have high average intelligence; so yes, they are more successful than average; so yes, they make more money than average.

Some of that money makes its way to AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbies. Some other of it, though, makes its way to the Democratic Party, which American Jews vote for disproportionately—about three to one. [Despite Trump's Israel Policies, American Jews Will Overwhelmingly Vote for Democrats, Poll Finds, by Amir Tibon, Haaretz, October 17, 2018]

But now you have this Democratic congressgal saying rude things about Jews and Israel. Eeek!

You can imagine the panic among senior Democrats. They quickly cobbled together a lengthy resolution condemning, quote, "anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry" not to mention, of course "white supremacists."

Yes, the U.S. House of Representatives wants us to know that they renounce Satan and all his works.

Well, most of them do. When the resolution came up for a vote on Thursday, it passed by 407 to 23, with one representative not voting and one voting "Present"—which means "in the House for the vote but not registering an opinion."[ How The House Voted On The Anti-Semitism And Bigotry Resolution, by Annie Daniel, NYT, March 7, 2019]

Naturally the 23 dissenters have been under pressure to explain themselves. Why would anybody vote against a resolution deploring all the aforementioned varieties of evil gnawing at America's heart? How could any reasonable person be in favor of hate, bigotry, racism, and the other scourges condemned in the resolution? dissenters offered different explanations. Mo Brooks of Alabama was the most forthright, taking an anti-anti-white position. He could not, said Mo, sign on to a resolution against discrimination that failed to mention discrimination against white people and Christians.

The other member of the House Anti-Anti-White Caucus, Steve King of Iowa, continued to keep the low profile he's been keeping since mid-January, when he was stripped of his committee assignments after a New York Times reporter quoted him as being in favor of Western civilization. [Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics,, by Trip Gabriel, January 10, 2019] Rep. King was the one voting "Present" on Thursday.

Other GOP dissenters objected that the resolution didn't specifically mention Ms. Omar, who after all was the occasion of all the fuss. Since it did mention the Dreyfus Affair, the WW2 internment of Japanese, the Ku Klux Klan, questions about John F. Kennedy's loyalty, and a mass of transparently bogus statistics about anti-Muslim violence, it is a bit odd they left out Ms. Omar.

Also omitted was any but the merest passing references to Muslim terrorism here in the U.S.A. To take one incident at random: In December 2016 a young man named Abdul Artan deliberately drove his car into a group of people on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, injuring thirteen of them. Then he got out and started stabbing bystanders with a butcher knife. A cop shot him dead.

Did I mention that Artan was an immigrant from Somalia? [Deceased Ohio State attacker identified as Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan,, November 29, 2016]There you go.

This little Thursday dust-up was likely a harbinger of things to come. Our Muslim population is nudging four million and growing fast. Most—around sixty percent—are immigrants, and three in ten of those immigrants arrived since 2010. [Demographic portrait of Muslim Americans, Pew Research, July 26, 2017, 2017]

Like all immigrants, their vote skews heavily Democratic; and like Muslims everywhere, their opinions about Jews skew heavily negative.

For Democrats who want to keep Jewish donors on board, this is a tough circle to square.

For an idea as to how much tougher it will get, glance across the pond, where Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is tearing itself apart over antisemitism, mainly because it is dependent on the huge urban Muslim vote. [Labour anti-Semitism row: Hodge claims Corbyn 'misled' her,BBC, March 5, 2019]

All together now, repeat after me on a count of three: One, two, three, "Diversity is our strength!"



2010-12-24dl[1]John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.


Print Friendly and PDF