Patterico's Pontifications

8/15/2019

Israel Refuses Entry To Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

It’s no secret that Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib are vocal critics of Israel and strong supporters of the Boycott, Sanction and Divest (BDS) movement. According to Israel, this is why they will not be allowed to enter the country:

Israeli officials have decided to block U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from entering the country as part of a planned visit, a reversal that comes amid pressure from President Trump and concerns about their support for boycotts of Israel.

The country’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely announced the decision Thursday, despite prior assurances that the congresswomen would be allowed in.

“Israel has decided — we won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Hotovely told public broadcaster Kan. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle, this is a very justified decision.”

[…]

Israeli media reported earlier on discussions of barring the freshman congresswomen due to their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Reports said Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri already made the decision to block them, though other parties still had to weigh in.

Israeli law says those supporting boycotts of the country may be denied entry.

Waivers can be granted for diplomatic figures, however, Haaretz reported. And in July, Israel’s U.S. ambassador said the country would not bar U.S. lawmakers out of “respect” for Congress and Israel’s longtime “alliance” with the U.S. Trump expressed frustration about the decision last week, The Washington Post reported.

Early this morning, President Trump, who is a strong supporter of Israel and its right to exist, nudged Israel to remain strong in its decision to deny Omar and Tlaib entry:

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

Here is Netanyahu’s defense of the decision:

As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country. In fact, in the past the US did this to an Israeli member of Knesset, as well as to other public figures from around the world.

Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress. Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy. For instance: they listed the destination of their trip as Palestine and not Israel, and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have visited Israel, they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition.

[…]

the itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.

In addition, the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel.

He concluded his statement by addressing Rep. Tlaib:

[I]f Congresswoman Tlaib submits a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the minister of interior has announced that he will consider her request on the condition that she pledges not to act to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit.

We are reminded that Netanyahu had approved of the congresswomen’s visit last month when he already knew that they were BDS supporters, and that Trump had privately put pressure on Israel to reverse the decision before applying public pressure on Twitter.

While there are many who are fully supportive of this decision given the congresswomen’s anti-Israel rhetoric and ardent support of the BDS movement, there are also those that disagree, saying that it demonstrates an intolerance not representative of democracy. And yet, there was also another very viable option:

What Israel should have done is to prepare a full itinerary for them — meetings with MKs and ministers, visits to important landmarks in Israel, etc. And see how they reacted to such an itinerary which Israel should have made VERY public.

UPDATE: Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement in response to the decision:

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

69 Responses to “Israel Refuses Entry To Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (UPDATE ADDED)”

  1. P.S. Also, one can’t ignore that there are upcoming elections, and this could be seen as an effort to rally the bases of both Netanyahu and Trump.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Is it bad optics to refuse entry to a couple of skunks?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. Oy Vey.

    Never bite the hand that feeds you, Bibi.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  4. Eh… good for Bibi. Why allow anyone who preaches the destruction of Israel access?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  5. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

    “No country in the world respects America and the American Congress more than the State of Israel.

    As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism

    with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country.

    In fact, in the past the US did this to an Israeli member of Knesset, as well as to other public figures from around the world.

    Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress.

    Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.

    For instance: they listed the destination of their trip as Palestine and not Israel, and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have visited Israel, they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition.

    A week ago, Israel warmly welcomed some 70 Democratic and Republican members of Congress, who expressed broad bipartisan support for Israel, which was also demonstrated a month ago in a resounding bipartisan vote against BDS in Congress.

    However, the itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. They call for boycotting Israel, Don and Ben assist them in backing up their own positions.

    Don’t really see a problem here.

    Plus they listed their destination as Palestine, Israel should have forwarded the request to the PA and let them explore the magical success of Gaza.
    __ _

    And wondered why AOC wasn’t part of the mission but realized she hasn’t enough time to travel abroad when she’s busy stirring up violence against government employees.

    harkin (58d012)

  7. @4. Good for Bibi??? Why allow anyone who preaches the destruction of the Reich access?

    A solution was found.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  8. 7. @4. Good for Bibi??? Why allow anyone who preaches the destruction of the Reich access?

    A solution was found.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 8/15/2019 @ 10:34 am

    What are you insinuating?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  9. Smart move. Makes no sense providing aid and comfort to those who seek your destruction. Who would support allowing those who desire harm to come to you unfettered access to your nation?

    NJRob (d0c2fb)

  10. Israel has every right to deny entry to anyone they want.

    At the same time, by denying entry to members of the United States legislature, this is an insult against the United States.

    And the fact that the President of the United States told a foreign country that they should deny entry to members of the United States legislature is completely and utterly outrageous.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  11. “Plus they listed their destination as Palestine, Israel should have forwarded the request to the PA and let them explore the magical success of Gaza.”

    Here’s a thought: if that was their destination, they should’ve directed them to use the tunnels for access in and out.

    Colonel Haiku (29e459)

  12. Israel and PM Netanyahu are caught in a “dammed if we do, dammed if we don’t” situation. I think the best solution would have been to let them in and then see what sort of coverage there was of their pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel stance, but I don’t hold any special knowledge that makes my opinion more valid than that of the Israeli government.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  13. @8. That Bibi is at heart, a Reichwinger.

    And weak. What’s to fear from two widdle congresscritters?

    Nothing.

    Never bite the hand that feeds you.

    End of story.

    @12. Bingo. They’d have come and gone w/likely no noise at all.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. 13. @8. That Bibi is at heart, a Reichwinger.

    That’s laughable.

    And weak. What’s to fear from two widdle congresscritters?

    Nothing.

    Never bite the hand that feeds you.

    End of story.

    I’m going to come over your house and take a dump in your living room floor.

    Would you still let me come into your house?

    @12. Bingo. They’d have come and gone w/likely no noise at all.
    DCSCA (797bc0) — 8/15/2019 @ 10:54 am

    Doubtful. They’ll likely achieve some propaganda victory… so, why give them that opportunity?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  15. @14. Laughable? Chuckle away; the Bibi Reichwinger is.

    Doubtful dumping?

    No problem. Use to it; my mother does it literally every day.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  16. @10. Bingo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. Good. Why should anybody let a couple of vipers into their home?

    nk (dbc370)

  18. , they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition.

    Not even Arab members of the Knesset. It was all pro-Fatah.

    And they were believed planning to visit the Temple Mount together with a delegation of officials from the Palestinian Authority. This would have been a means of asserting a claim to it, so Israeli police were instructed to let them go there, but prevent any PA officials from visiting the site with them. The site is currently administered by people appointed by the kingdom of Jordan but Israel controls acccess and makes some rules.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  19. 10. aphrael (3f0569) — 8/15/2019 @ 10:46 am

    And the fact that the President of the United States told a foreign country that they should deny entry to members of the United States legislature is completely and utterly outrageous.

    They re-reversed themselves after that.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  20. Netanyahu is making a mistake because he denied Tlaib/Omar the opportunity to make fools of themselves on Israeli soil.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  21. The same people outraged that these anti-Semites were denied access to Israel are the same people that cheered the London mayor saying Trump wasn’t welcome there and tried to get the Queen to shun him.

    NJRob (d0c2fb)

  22. Rancida Tlapia belongs in a straight jacket.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. They don’t even recognize the country they wish to visit (their itinerary says ‘US Congressional Delegation to Palestine’), and yet their apologists are shouting ‘outrageous’ and ‘disrespectful’.

    Respect works both ways.

    harkin (58d012)

  24. Perhaps it would have gone like this
    –the daring duo: US Delegation to Palestine
    –Israel: so sorry, we can’t help you visit a country that does not exist.

    The negative here is that Bibi again makes himself look like a lackey of Trump and an inferior ally of the GOP because he changed his mind after Trump made an issue of it.

    Kishnevi (94255e)

  25. Israel and PM Netanyahu are caught in a “dammed if we do, dammed if we don’t” situation. I think the best solution would have been to let them in and then see what sort of coverage there was of their pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel stance, but I don’t hold any special knowledge that makes my opinion more valid than that of the Israeli government.

    I think they made a calculation that currying favor with Trump would have better results than offending democrats.

    I support Israel. I don’t like anything about either of these two legislators. I think this will be bad for Israel in the long run because this is an insult to the US.

    Time123 (36651d)

  26. Sean Durns
    @SeanDurns
    Question for reporters covering
    @IlhanMN

    @RashidaTlaib
    trip to “Palestine”–as their itinerary refers to all of Israel–have u noted that the organization sponsoring the trip, Miftah, has claimed that “Jews use the blood of Christians in Jewish passover”?

    __ _

    harkin (58d012)

  27. Pelosi must support these two, they are fast becoming the face of the Democrat party.

    Colonel Haiku (29e459)

  28. After giving it some thought, here is how I think I would have liked to see this unfold:

    1. I agree with aphrael that the optics of denying a travel visa to two United States Congresswomen are bad, and it’s not in Israel’s long-term interests. HOWEVER

    2. It seems pretty obvious to me that this was not the traditional “fact-finding” mission that members of Congress make, and that Reps. Omar and Tlaib planned to spend virtually all of their time with Palestinian activists and anti-Netanyahu elements in the Knesset and participate in anti-Likud press conferences and photo ops staged by left-wing elements within the area. They were not making a diplomatic visit in good faith. THEREFORE

    3. The proper thing for Israel to do is to invite Reps. Omar and Tlaib to visit Israel, but only with a bipartisan delegation of members of Congress who would undertake a mutually agreed-upon agenda that would bring them into contact with both Palestinian activists and the Israeli leadership for balance. I do sort of understand why they don’t trust those two dingbats to make their own freelance visit.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  29. I think it revealed who influences who in the relationship, nations aside. Democratic candidates are now pouncing on this, and circling the wagons around the congresswomen. While Trump’s base will surely rally behind him in this, i’m not sure how it plays to the wider audience of Republicans. Especially when one considers the President of the United States interfered in decision making of another nation about welcoming his own Congress people .

    Dana (fdf131)

  30. JVW,

    I think the comment by Emily Landau that I link to in the post, dovetails nicely with your take:

    What Israel should have done is to prepare a full itinerary for them — meetings with MKs and ministers, visits to important landmarks in Israel, etc. And see how they reacted to such an itinerary which Israel should have made VERY public.

    It would have spoken volumes, and it also would’ve made them own their own bad behavior, or even mind their manners.

    Dana (fdf131)

  31. Israel can admit who it pleases, but by drawing attention to these congresswomen and treating them as some kind of threat, they only make them and their fringe ideas appear consequential.

    It seems to me a wiser approach would have been to consign them to irrelevance and ignore them completely.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. trump and netanhayu 2019 version of hitler stalin non aggression pact.

    lany (c41802)

  33. Dave,

    Would you say the same about white supremacists? Because Talib and Omar are no different than those; they just favor a different supremacy.

    NJRob (6acafb)

  34. Dave,

    I think this makes them look like victims. And you know how Democrats loves it some victims. Trump made it easy for them to exploit this with his interference.

    Dana (fdf131)

  35. I think the comment by Emily Landau that I link to in the post, dovetails nicely with your take:

    It does, but I would also insist that they come in a bipartisan delegation (or at the very least with a grownup like Aunt Nancy or Uncle Steny in tow) to try and lessen their opportunities for grandstanding or agenda-hijacking (oh, sorry, am I not supposed to use that term where these two are concerned?).

    JVW (54fd0b)

  36. I’ve updated the post with a statement by Rep. Ilhan Omar in response to the decision. I don’t see that Rep. Rashida Tlaib has released one. Yet.

    Dana (fdf131)

  37. Heh. ISWYDT, JVW…

    Dana (fdf131)

  38. Would you say the same about white supremacists? Because Talib and Omar are no different than those; they just favor a different supremacy.

    Have they advocated race- or religion-based violence, or discrimination?

    If so, then yes I would treat them the same as white supremacists. Otherwise probably not.

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. The fact that they listed their destination as “Palestine” is the clincher, IMO. That is a blatant statement that they do not recognize Israel. So why should Israel recognize them?

    If a member of the British Parliament wanted to visit the U.S., and listed his destination as “Her Majesty’s Thirteen Colonies” we would tell him to sod off. (And even that is not a perfect analogy, as Britain has not challenged U.S. independence in over 200 years, while Israel’s legitimacy is challenged daily.)

    As for an insult to the U.S., that is absurd. Two congresswomen are not the U.S. If they don’t know how to behave, no one has to let them in.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  40. Have they advocated race- or religion-based violence, or discrimination?

    Their actions support those who would wipe Israel off the map and commit Holocaust II.

    So yes.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  41. It’s done… all woulda, shoulda, coulda’s aside… but it would’ve been cool to see the two using Hamas tunnels.

    Colonel Haiku (29e459)

  42. Ha ha! The Babylon Bee strikes again:

    Women Who Don’t Believe Israel Has the Right to Exist Not Sure Why They Got Banned from Israel

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar reported Thursday they were bewildered that they got banned from Israel, a country they seem to believe shouldn’t exist at all.

    “It’s racism,” said Omar in a press conference. “It’s all due to racism. Well, that and a Jewish conspiracy. The Jews are behind this, for sure.” (The evidence indicates she’s correct on this assertion, a first for her accusations against Jews).

    Tlaib agreed, saying she wanted to ask Jews about the Holocaust so she could relax and get a “calming feeling” while she was there.

    “It just doesn’t make much sense for this country that shouldn’t even exist to ban us,” she said. “What have we ever said against them, besides suggesting they are terrorists who deserve to be pushed into the sea?”

    The women said they now had to change their vacation plans from hanging out with people they hate in a country they hate to somewhere less “Jewy.”

    JVW (54fd0b)

  43. Yes:

    The fact that they listed their destination as “Palestine” is the clincher,

    It tells everyone what they need to know. The problem, of course, is that there’s a whole lot of people in America that agree with their labeling of the destination.

    Dana (fdf131)

  44. 43, that’s brilliant!

    Dana (fdf131)

  45. At a brief press conference upon their arrival at Ben Gurion International…
    Israeli reporter: “Ms. Tlaib, can you tell us where you heard this disinformation about “my people, who welcomed and helped them!” The historical record is clear that “welcomed” and “helped” didn’t happen. Oh, and as a follow-up, will apologize right now to the people of Israel for likening their country to Nazi Germany?”
    Tlaib: Wah wah wah.
    Israeli reporter: Ms. Omar, can you tell us which members of Congress have pledged allegiance to Israel, and which members have taken Jewish Benjamins?”
    Ms. Omar: I would like to echo my colleague’s remarks.
    Mr. Netanyahu should not have changed his mind, and Trump should not have let his vindictiveness get the better of him.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  46. AIPAC believes this was a wrong headed decision. Biting the hand that feeds you is just plain stupid.

    They’ve been squabbling over there for 2,000-plus years, anyway. They’ve even suckered the powers that be these days to pay them not to fight. What a racket. It’s a scam. And America has borrowed billions and wasted too much of that treasure on them all over there as it is.

    Screw ’em all. A pox on all their houses and every miserable sand-crab in between; the whole damned Middle East. Their chief export is pain and terror; their only manufactured product is rubble; their only tourist attraction: tombs. Had the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs arrived a few hours earlier, this wouldn’t even be a problem today. My prayer to God: next time you wind up for a pitch, aim better. Our kids won’t miss the pyramids.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. 40 – Bored Lawyer, well said and it really is that simple.
    __ _

    31 – “It seems to me a wiser approach would have been to consign them to irrelevance and ignore them completely.“

    Neither you nor I know what they might’ve had planned and what sort of publicity they were going to generate.

    Asking permission to enter a country and then in press releases referring to said country by another name gives a hint that their motivations for the trip were neither respectful nor honest.

    If the press was doing its job these two idiots would be ridiculed mercilessly.

    harkin (6ddbda)

  48. 47 – interesting approach echoing AIPAC in the same post you advocate mass genocide.

    also:

    “Had the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs arrived a few hours earlier, this wouldn’t even be a problem today.”

    wat?

    harkin (6ddbda)

  49. Bravo, Bibbi. You have more balls than all of our congressmen put together.

    mg (8cbc69)

  50. @48. Does it matter? And squeaks from two widdle congresscritters on a tour?

    The publicity generated by Reichwinger Bibi is much more damaging to the state of Israel. Just a incredibly weak move by him.

    God just may be warming up in the bullpen.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. 51… when you see DCSCA all wound-up over something, the smart play is to go in the opposite direction of what he has prescribed for the win.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  52. ‘he really seems to care, about what I have no idea’

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. 48… if what the two anti-semites have said about Israel and Jews in general over the past year plus was spoken just a few years ago, it would’ve been universally denounced for what it is.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. 39… there are approximately the same number of “white supremacists” in the entire country as the average number of people attending a WNBA game.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. well they are like james moran (who most lately has been lobbying for Qatar,) William Fulbright (Clinton’s mentor who ended up lobbying for the uae) among others, but that was at the end of their career, or post retirement, paul Findlay represented that view among some republicans,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. If it’s okay for the two anti-semites to boycott Israel, it’s okay for Israel to boycott the two anti-semites.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  57. @51. It’s sucker bait. ‘Their chief export is pain and terror; their only manufactured product is rubble; their only tourist attraction: tombs.’

    If the region wasn’t around, you wouldn’t miss it. “Now pitching…”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. Trump in NH, live on CSPAN.

    He starts:

    “I will never, ever let you down.”- DJT, 8-15-19

    And, we’re off to the races…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Michael Savage is banned in the UK. In fact, Trump would be banned if he wasn’t POTUS. And no one cares. So, I’m not upset that 2 Congresswomen can’t go to Israel.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  60. and dems approved, now there is something to the fact the land was promised by balfour, to the jews, by Lawrence to the arabs and then split with sykes/picot, but seeing as none of those lands are in European hands that’s a moot point,

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. And from which district is Michael Savage the duly elected member of the United States Congress?

    Oh. Right. None.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. One of the few things the center right and center left agreed on was support for Israel. Netanyahu and Trump have truly destroyed this, and it will come back to haunt the country in the future. Just really stupid. Short term gains, long term harm.

    David (82af14)

  63. #63 — Sorry, it was the left that destroyed the relationship.

    Read the reports. The two Congresswomen’s trip were sponsored by an organization that literally promotes blood libel. It accuses Jews of using “the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”

    Sorry, when out-and-out antisemites sponsor your trip, then you have lost all credibility.

    And it they are now the face of the Democratic party, then we are doomed.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  64. Meanwhile…..

    Austria: Muslim Taxi Drivers Refuse to Transport Guide Dogs For the Blind

    harkin (58d012)

  65. One of the few things the center right and center left agreed on was support for Israel.

    Our relationship with Israel was at its worst under Obama, this side of Eisenhower.

    Paul Montagu (b74dea)

  66. Darin Gillies
    @dagsteel
    ·
    They just hosted over 60 other dem and repub representatives last week. They arent hiding anything. Words have meanings and actions have consequences. Those 2 are now experiencing the consequences of their words.

    harkin (58d012)

  67. When Netanyahu snubbed Obama. One simply does not do that to The One. It is not forgotten or forgiven.

    nk (dbc370)

  68. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib got what they wanted and Trump and Netanyahu got pawned. Omar and Talib gained even more free publicity for themselves and their cause. Trump looked vindictive and Netanyahu looked afraid of two women. The banning certainly looks suspicious after their visit was approved in July. The only reason they were banned is that Netanyahu is in a fight for his political life.

    Ripmurdock (344216)


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