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OPINION: Does Congressional Candidate Leslie Cockburn Pose A Threat To Jewish Americans?

2:23 PM 10/22/2018 | Opinion

Noah Phillips | Junior Fellow, Haym Salomon Center

Leslie Cockburn, journalist-turned-candidate in the race for Virginia’s 5th congressional district, is a Democrat running against Republican Denver Riggleman.

While the district has prevailed as a Republican county for 16 of the past 18 years, Cockburn has positioned herself to take it back for the Democrats.

Yet Cockburn’s political affiliation isn’t the issue. Rather it’s her disdain for the State of Israel and her anti-Semitic views that run counter to American democratic values and what the Democratic Party is supposed to represent.

In 1991, Cockburn and her husband co-authored “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship,” 400 pages of invective against the Jewish Diaspora, Israeli democracy, and the United States. 

The book’s contents are conspiratorial, making unsubstantiated claims against the Jewish Diaspora, Israeli democracy and the United States — likely the most egregious given that only two-and-a-half decades later, she is campaigning to be a part of the government.

In the book, Cockburn claims that Israel perpetrated the Gulf War, clandestinely collaborating with a Colombian drug cartel, and worked with South Africa on nuclear missiles, to name a few of the absurdities presented as fact. The book is replete with reference to Israel as having a significant amount of the world’s nations in the palm of its hand, invoking the age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews “run the world.” 

In a 1991 review of the book, the New York Times stated it was dedicated to “Israel bashing for its own sake,” and that its message was that Israelis “are a menace” who are responsible for “everything that ails us.”

Political scientist Edward Luttwak of The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C claimed, “it is the first anti-Israeli accusation known to me that has been ignored by PLO propagandists because it does not meet even that organization’s feeble standards of credibility.”

And for those who deny that Cockburn harbors any such anti-Semitic, anti-democratic views, the question is: who but a bigot devotes herself to upwards of 400 pages of slander against Jews, Israel and the United States? 

Her obsessive condemnation of Israel and its allies makes her projected election to Congress a daunting prospect for the American community of Jews, over whom she would exercise considerable influence. 

Further, Cockburn has enjoyed tea with the sons of Saddam Hussein. Both were well known for their raping and murder of high school girls as well as torturing of children. One would not expect someone with any decency to keep company with men who have committed unspeakable atrocities against civilians in their home country.

The mounting evidence against Cockburn’s character seemingly isn’t sufficient for voters to deem her unqualified to represent them in one of the most crucial positions in American democracy. 

Could it be her blend of socialist and moderate leftism overshadowing her abominable flaws? Or the DC connections she has from her days as a “respected” journalist?

What matters is that Democrats have turned a blind eye to gaping character flaws within their party, sacrificing morality for bigotry as they whet their appetites, sharpen their knives and salivate in anticipation of taking back Congress from Republicans.

Noah Phillips is a junior fellow with the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow @salomoncenter.org


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.