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Thu Aug 15, 2019, 12:17 PM

Jennifer Rubin: Israel's ban of Omar and Tlaib is a grave misstep

Source: Washington Post

Israel’s ban of Omar and Tlaib is a grave misstep

By Jennifer Rubin
Opinion writer
August 15 at 12:00 PM

The Post reports, “Caught between the opposing views of President Trump and Democratic leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed himself on Thursday and decided to prohibit Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from visiting Israel during a trip scheduled to start Sunday.” While the government originally announced it would admit the pair, the call from Trump to exclude American lawmakers, an outrageous and unprecedented step, “immediately opened up a new battle between Netanyahu and Democrats, who had privately warned that such a decision would be unprecedented and inconsistent with Israel’s claims of tolerance and openness.”

The problem arises from a recently passed law that would bar foreign nationals who support any boycott of Israel from receiving entry visas. This in and of itself was an infringement on the Israeli tradition of vigorous public debate, but with elections upcoming in September, Netanyahu is scrambling to ingratiate himself further with the far right. Before Wednesday, however, “Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said the two congresswomen would be allowed to visit Israel ‘out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.’” So much for that “respect.” (The Israeli embassy did not respond to a request for comment.)

The Post reported that “House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) took the issue up with Israeli officials on Wednesday on behalf of the Democratic leadership, but could not convince the government to let the lawmakers in.” Hoyer is among Israel’s most devoted friends in the U.S. Congress. To rebuff a direct plea from him would be extraordinary.

The ban is a stunning, unprecedented step, one that signals Israel, long a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, cannot tolerate criticism — even from nationals of its closest ally. For Netanyahu it sends the message that he is Trump’s puppet, willing to damage the long-term relationship with the United States to assuage the ego of a president who is in a political tailspin.

“This reversal is counterproductive to say the least and gives a victory to the BDS Movement. All Members of Congress would benefit from visiting Israel and seeing the diversity of the people and richness of the culture,” former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council Aaron Keyak told reporters. “This action also sets a dangerous precedent for the many other countries — many led by dictators and ruthless thugs — that U.S. elected officials visit.'” He adds that this is “a painful moment for those of us who care about a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and fight for the cause of peace.”

-snip-


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/15/israel-brink-grave-misstep/

8 replies, 1311 views

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Reply Jennifer Rubin: Israel's ban of Omar and Tlaib is a grave misstep (Original post)
Eugene Aug 2019 OP
comradebillyboy Aug 2019 #1
lark Aug 2019 #3
hlthe2b Aug 2019 #2
poli-junkie Aug 2019 #4
Eugene Aug 2019 #5
poli-junkie Aug 2019 #6
Mosby Aug 2019 #7
aranthus Aug 2019 #8

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 12:30 PM

1. I guess Israel no longer wants bipartisan support in congress.

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Response to comradebillyboy (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 01:27 PM

3. Nope, they think it's unnecesaary.

With their and Russia's support for Repugs and with a committed fascist in office, they plan to help him steal the country forever.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 12:38 PM

2. One might really guess this is a "f_k up" when AIPAC even comes out exoriating the decision

Israel has a chance to give Netanyahu the boot in Sept. If they don't, I think this and a few other appalling recent policy decisions are going to come back to bit them in the near future. When AIPAC is not even defending a decision, I'd say there are problems.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 02:12 PM

4. What's BDS? Thanks.

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Response to poli-junkie (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 02:15 PM

5. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions

It is argued that BDS is anti-Israel and therefore antisemitic. As Trump puts it, The Squad hates Israel, Jews and America.

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Response to Eugene (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 02:22 PM

6. Hmm...interesting. Thanks!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2019, 07:17 PM

7. I think it was a mistake to prevent the trip

But Rubin is understating Rep. Tlaib's positions on the IP confict when she describes them as mere "criticism". The one state solution Rep. Tlaib supports is in direct opposition to the UN Security Council's resolutions on the Israel/Palestinian conflict as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She does not support the very idea of a Jewish homeland, and does not recognize the Jewish connection to the land, going as far to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian.



The candidate, Rashida Tlaib, also said in an interview that she favors a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as opposed to a two-state solution that would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

https://forward.com/news/national/408368/michigan-democratic-nominee-endorses-one-state-solution-cuts-to-israeli/

She said her immigrant mother keeps her grounded, and is so compassionate. She said her mother told a man who voiced opposition to her hijab, “You don’t understand. Jesus was born in my country!” Tlaib said her mother believes that if people know that, things will be so much better.

http://www.pressandguide.com/news/rashida-tlaib-an-arab-american-woman-s-rise-to-congress/article_b5ac5c24-6211-11e9-addd-cb9dffac23c3.html?


In an interview on the Skullduggery podcast released last Friday, Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American woman representative in Congress — chose to take a historical detour when asked about her vision of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“There’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust in the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways had been wiped out, and some people’s passports.


https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-palestinian-scholars-reject-rashida-tlaib-s-take-on-post-holocaust-history-1.7239784

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Aug 16, 2019, 09:26 AM

8. It was wrong, however

Omar and and Tlaib are antisemites who oppose Israel's existence. Their stance is not mere "criticism". Israel has a law barring such people from entering. Because of that, the Israelis were going to be damned either way. If they blocked Tlaib and Omar they would be violating Liberal principles and they would be criticized for it. If they let Omar and Tlaib into Israel, they would: 1) Be creating an exception to their law that other high ranking Israel haters and antisemites would exploit. 2) Create a propaganda boon for the more radical Palestinian factions. 3) Give Omar and Tlaib an opportunity to do who knows what mischief while they were in Israel. The consequences of allowing them in were unpredictable; those for barring them were not. Israel chose the devil they knew. I think most Democrats would understand that this is not an attack on Democrats. On the other hand, if Tlaib and Omar actually represent the thinking of Democrats on Israel, then the Israelis aren't losing much.

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