Issa Slams Unprecedented Anti-Semitism in Democratic Party

'You can draw a straight line from the Democrat Party's public hostility towards Israel and the attacks on Jews on college campuses'

Darrell Issa (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
November 9, 2023

With anti-Semitism in America hitting unprecedented heights in the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, one of the House's longest-sitting Republican foreign policy leaders says the Democratic Party is fomenting Jew-hatred from the halls of Congress.

"You can draw a straight line from the Democrat Party's public hostility towards Israel and the attacks on Jews on college campuses and elsewhere over the last month," Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), who has served in Congress for 21 years, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview.

Asked if he has ever seen this level of anti-Semitism across the country during his two decades as a public official, Issa said, "No. Absolutely not."

The lawmaker's comments—which echo the sentiments of many Republicans in Congress, as well as Jewish advocacy groups across the country—come two days after the House officially censured Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) for her repeated promotion of anti-Semitic tropes. The measure, which passed in a 234-188 vote, garnered the support of 22 Democrats, suggesting that the "Squad" member's vitriolic rhetoric is giving her party election jitters as the plurality of Americans remain horrified over Hamas's Oct. 7 slaughter of more than 1,400 Israelis.

"The House doesn't just have a Rashida Tlaib problem," said Issa, who was a lead supporter of the measure to censure Tlaib. "The Democrats have an anti-Semitism problem. And it's not going to be understood or dealt with by a single resolution."

Tlaib, Issa said, is a symptom of growing anti-Jewish fervor not just in Congress but also across America's college campuses, which have seen a massive spike in violence against Jews amid pro-Hamas demonstrations and rabid anti-Israel advocacy. Those protests have left Jewish students concerned for their safety.

"I think there's something bigger than [Tlaib] that we really should be focusing on, and that is all of our universities, who instead of denouncing anti-Semitism are essentially promoting it and putting at risk Jewish students," Issa said. "What you have is a massive, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel coalition that includes essentially all of the intellectual elite of our country. That, to me, that's scarier."

Campus anti-Semitism has drawn the White House's condemnation in recent days, with the Education Department reporting a worrying rise in "hate incidents" across the country.

The Republican Party, which remains a bastion of pro-Israel support, must be ready to confront the historic rise in anti-Semitism, Issa said.

This confrontation will include hearings to hold college administrators accountable for rabid Jew-hatred on campus, as well as resolutions meant to assure the American public that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in America's legislative bodies.

"We do have a role to play," Issa said, "and the biggest role is to use our voices or Twitter [now called X] and, when appropriate, resolutions to let Americans know that this is an area of wrongdoing."

"What's going on in college campuses, most Americans aren't looking at it," Issa added, accusing the mainstream media of ignoring the hatred percolating inside the country's elite institutions.

"What's happening on campuses," Issa said, "and being condoned by the leadership of campuses promotes on an ongoing basis not just a misguided, but maliciously untruthful," attitude toward Jews.