A month ago Rep’s Ihlan Omar (D-ISIS) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Palestine) were expecting to be allowed into Israel as part of a Congressional trip.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be admitted to Israel as part of a congressional trip in the coming weeks. Early reporting suggested that the two lawmakers could be denied entry for their outspoken support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.
The Israeli government announced on Friday, however, that they would not block the American congresswomen from entering the country. Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer explained, “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.”
But then Prime Minister Netanyahu changed his mind and decided to deny them entry.
Israel announced Thursday it was barring the entry of two Democratic US congresswomen after Donald Trump encouraged the move, a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told CNN on Thursday of Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from entering the country. The announcement came shortly after Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” by allowing them to enter the country.
“The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement following the decision.
They were not pleased:
Omar responded to the decision Thursday by calling it “an affront” and “an insult to democratic values.”
“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government,” Omar said in a statement. “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress.”
Omar went on to say, “As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world. The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”
Tlaib complained that she was being denied the opportunity to visit her grandmother. She begged to be allowed to see her:
I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.
But Grandma got thrown to the wolves
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Friday that she will not go to the West Bank and Israel to visit her grandmother after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s government initially forbid her from entering.
Tlaib said Israel’s government had sought to silence her and had treated her as a criminal and that she had decided she would not visit her grandmother under those circumstances. “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” said Tlaib, whose parents are Palestinian immigrants. “It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
So Grandma wasn’t that important after all. Then she gave away the real goal of the trip- delegitimizing Israel:
In explaining her shift, Tlaib said that she wanted to make sure that she could speak “the truth” if visiting Israel.
“When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions,” Tlaib said in a statement. “I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”
Grandma was a prop. Nothing more. The trip was planned and co-sponsored by a group called Miftah
The cancelled visit was partially organized and co-sponsored by Miftah, an anti-Israel organization headed by Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee and supporter of BDS.
Ashrawi claimed the trip was supposed to be a way for Omar and Tlaib “to engage with the Palestinian people directly and to see things on the ground.”
NGO Monitor, a watchdog on extremist nonprofits, notes that Miftah has accused Israel of committing “massacres,” “apartheid,” “summary executions” of Palestinian youth and “Judaizing” Jerusalem. It has also accused Israel of “ethnic-cleansing of Palestinian-Israeli Arabs.”
And they weren’t going to Israel- they were going to “Palestine”
This was nothing more than a political stunt by the two women who have a long standing hate for Israel. Making things worse, the media is ignoring their hate for everything Israeli:
Not to be forgotten is that Omar tweeted out a message that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was paying Members of Congress to be pro-Israel. The tweet: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” Her Democratic colleague, New York Congressman Eliot Engel called her tweet “the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money.’” Again, Engel is no conservative, he is Omar’s fellow Democrat in the House.
Not to be forgotten either is this 2012 tweet from Omar: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Then there was this headline back in January from a New York Post editorial: “Rashida Tlaib casually dives into anti-Semitism”
The focus of the editorial was Tlaib’s remark in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and her criticism of colleagues who supported Israel. Tlaib said: “They forgot what country th
So @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib both shared a cartoon by a cartoonist who not only took part in Iran’s holocaust denial cartoon contest, but also celebrates the death of American soldiers. pic.twitter.com/m9tQ0RmfVl
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 18, 2019
A NY Times editor noted that there really was something to the story being ignored:
First, Weiss pointed out that the anti-Semites declared they were going to Palestine instead of Israel on their itineraries. She then dropped the bombshell that the trip “was being sponsored by a group that literally published neo-Nazi blood libels and said that it supported female suicide bombers. You know, hailing them as heroes. That’s a scandal.”
It was a scandal “that has not been covered by any mainstream paper or network …” she lamented. “If someone like [Iowa Republican Congressman] Steve King was going to Sweden or Norway and eating with neo-Nazi groups, that would be front-page news,” she added.
She then posed a question to the panel: “is the fact that Trump has lodged racist, horrible attacks on these women, has that made them sort of untouchable for us to cover in an accurate way?” She never got a real answer from anyone on the panel. Instead, fill-in host John Avlon quickly moved away from those facts and back to bashing Trump.
And whose fault is it the media is suppressing the story? You know…
Weiss argued that “one of the problems of this moment” was how “everything [Trump] touches becomes toxic”. So, “it’s very hard to cover, sort of, complicated characters and stories like them because [of] the President…”