While Rep. Omar is still barred from entering Israel, Rep. Tlaib will be allowed to go. Hours after Prime Minister Netanyahu declared them both unwelcome, Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, granted Tlaib’s request to visit her grandmother in the West Bank.
Tlaib wrote to Deri, promising to respect any restrictions and to refrain from promoting any boycotts against Israel during her visit. “This could be my last opportunity to see her,” Tlaib claimed. The Congresswoman was expected to visit the country between August 18-24, but has apparently changed her mind. Despite writing in her request that she would obey any restrictions imposed on her, now that permission has been generously granted, that’s too much.
“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Tlaib tweeted Friday. “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.”
What she left out of her outraged tweet was the fact that all Israel asked of her in return for the chance to visit her grandmother was that she not stir up anti-Israel trouble while there. It seems both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu were correct in their assessments of her true motives: Evidently, dear old Grandma isn’t as important to Ms. Tlaib as she claimed.
U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have been thwarted in their attempts to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday barred the progressive pair from entering Israel. And the left is in a frenzy about it after a timeline of events revealed that President Trump issued a tweet and within two-hours Israeli officials announced the two American members of Congress would not be welcome.
Trump tweeted: “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.”
The news media immediately jumped on the president, pointing to him as the cause of this diplomatic kerfuffle. And they are probably right. Mr. Trump saw an already cracked door and pushed it open wide. But the talking cable-heads only seem capable of one-step thinking, as has been noted on Liberty Nation time and again. Yes, the president probably pushed Prime Minister Netanyahu into barring the women from entering Israel. But is this such a horrible thing?
It would be lovely if everyone played nicely in the diplomatic sandbox. But why is it the beginning of the apocalypse if they don’t? The two Muslim representatives have let it be known early and often that they are no friends of Israel. They have voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement. They are outspoken about their pro-Palestinian leanings. The 43-year old Tlaib even has family living on the West Bank.
In agreeing with the president, Netanyahu pointed out that the two women referred to their destination as “Palestine,” not Israel. He added, “… the two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it.” Perhaps Mr. Trump’s tweet served to give the Israeli prime minister permission to do what he wanted to do in the first place.
It Doesn’t Take a Genius
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the pro-Palestinian congresswomen could have stirred up a new, fresh round of anti-Israel sentiment on the ever-tense West Bank. It’s not exactly Shangri-La as anyone who has ever visited the area well knows. And while their itinerary did not reveal meetings with Palestinian officials – or even Israeli government officials, for that matter – their presence in the region makes a statement.
Keep in mind that earlier this month Israel hosted some 70 U.S. members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Why didn’t Omar and Tlaib go with them? Could it be that it was their intention all along to stand out from the crowd? Netanyahu alluded to this when he said, “… it became clear that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel’s legitimacy.”
Omar and Tlaib were understandably outraged by the last-minute decision to bar them from the gates of Jerusalem. Israelis, however, are also naturally paranoid about who they let in their country. They are, after all, surrounded by those who seek their demise and undermine their legitimacy at every turn. Even though these two representatives had their agenda and their travel plans spoiled, the world is still turning on its axis. It’s just that President Trump used the power of his position and the force of his no-holds-barred personality to foil their plans. While it may mean some testy times between some Democrats on the Hill and Israel, all in all, this is likely a good move for the Jewish state and a clever one by the U.S. president.