Two American congresswomen who have been barred from visiting Israel have taken the opportunity to bash the Jewish state while promoting the Palestinian cause and calling for cuts to Israeli aid.
After Israel refused to grant them entry to the country over their support for boycotting the Jewish state, Democrats Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan on Monday blasted Israel and said the U.S. should halt aid until Palestinians are granted full rights.
“These actions do nothing for peace — the total opposite, they prevent peace and deepen the occupation. Fortunately, we in the United States have a constructive role to play. We give Israel more than $3 billion in aid every year, based on it being an important ally in the region and the ‘only democracy in the Middle East.’”
She used hand quotes when saying Israel was a democracy and once said that the chuckles when people suggest Israel is a democracy.
American congressmen and women are usually taken to Israel on junkets organized by AIPAC, a pro-Israel Jewish group. But Tlaib and Omar, who are both Muslim — and Tlaib actually has family in the West Bank — had planned to visit on a tour organized by a Palestinian group that is anti-Israel. Israel refused the two freshman congresswomen entry under a law that enables the country to ban entry to people associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The group that was going to sponsor their trip, Miftah, once attacked President Obama for hosting a Passover seder. They reminded him that Jews use the blood of Christians in the Passover ceremony National review’s David French wrote,
“[Miftah] celebrates terrorists, including an evil woman who helped murder 13 Israeli children. In an article titled “Let Us Honor Our Own,” a Miftah contributor describes Dalal Al Mughrabi as “a Palestinian fighter who was killed during a military operation against Israel in 1978” and as one of the Palestinian people’s “national heroes.”
The saga went back and forth for a few weeks with the Israeli ambassador saying they would allow them in out of respect for America. But then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed that statement last Thursday after a social media post by U.S. President Donald Trump who said the Jewish state “would be showing weakness” if it gave them permission.
The two have used the unprecedented denial to their advantage. At a news conference on Monday they said that Israel’s actions were “not compatible” with being a democracy or an ally of the U.S. Of course, they have never said one positive word about Israel, but have pushed anti-Semetic tropes in the American people. Omar once said,
“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
And Talib talked about how thinking about the holocaust brings her a calming feeling. Now, suddenly they are talking about how an ally should treat them. They are anything but allies to Israel.
They had planned to meet “Israeli officials” meaning Arab Knesset members and the controversial left-wing organization Breaking the Silence.
Omar said Israel’s decision to bar them was standard policy toward Palestinians “and those who hold views that threaten the occupation.”
“But denying entry to duly elected officials of friendly countries is not consistent with being an ally, and denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self-determination is not compatible with being a democracy.”
She urged other Congress members to either boycott Israel or get a different narrative while there.
“I would encourage them to meet with the people we were going to meet with, see the things we were going to see, hear the stories we were going to hear.”
Tlaib put on a moving performance as she cried while describing the hardships her relatives go through, for example crossing “dehumanizing checkpoints.” She forgets that the only reason there are checkpoints are to prevents suicide bombers. Jews to not commit mass murder against Palestinians, but a large number of Palestinians not only would kill Jews if they could, but encourage their children to lust for blood as well.
“I remember shaking with fear when checkpoints were put up near Beit Ur al-Fauqa,” she said, adding that her father had been “harassed” by Israeli forces.
Critics of Trump’s recommendation to bar entry of the two elected officials — and Israel’s decision to do so — said the two countries managed to drive support of Israel down partisan lines, also unprecedented as both Republicans and Democrats alike had traditionally supported the Jewish state.
Netanyahu defended his decision saying that Tlaib and Omar’s itinerary was controversial. They lied during the news conference when they said that had planed to meet with Knesset members. They didn’t have one Knesset member on their itinerary. They want to come with one goal in mind—turn American against their greatest ally.
“As soon as (the itinerary) arrived, we checked it and reached the decision that we did. This was a principled, not a partisan, decision. We respect all political parties in the US equally; however, we also respect ourselves. Whoever comes to impose boycotts on us and to deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel, we will not allow them entry.” —Prime Minister Netanyahu
Tlaib and Omar are known as supporters of the BDS movement against Israel and have a history of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.