Israel popped up in the news last week when first-term congresswomen Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., sought visas to visit Israel. Israel blocked their entry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two Muslim congresswomen’s support of Palestinians and the movement B.D.S -- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions -- and their criticisms of Israel were grounds for barring their entry.
In a statement Netanyahu said, “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 prevent the entry of people believed to be damaging to the country.”
Then, Tlaib sent an email to fellow first-term Democrats asking them to advocate for her being allowed to visit her 90-year-old grandmother who lives in the West Bank. The next day Israel approved Tlaib’s visit after she agreed in writing not to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit.
Soon after Israel approved Tlaib’s entry in accordance with her own written agreement, Tlaib tweeted: “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she (her grandmother) wants for me. 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.”
Wow! So, Tlaib lobbies her fellow Democrats to advocate for her visit, Israel grants the visa in a humanitarian gesture, and then she blasts Israel as she has for years for being racist, oppressive and unjust? Is her hatred of Jews and Israel so strong that it overwhelms her love for her own family?
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Tlaib’s and Omar’s comments and tweets against Jews and Israel have been well known for years. When Congress reconvened in January, both first-term congresswomen continued making hateful and anti-Semitic statements to the point that in March the Democrat-controlled House wrote and passed a convoluted resolution to condemn all hate!
Well, the resolution was initiated to condemn anti-Semitism after Tlaib’s and Omar’s statements overwhelmed even Democrats’ sensibilities about racist tropes! But then, in accordance with traditional leftist ideology, the resolution also condemned anti-Muslim bias, white supremacy, and for good measure all the other usual victims of bigotry “African-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants and others….”
So, the House cleared the air about how Americans should feel about “hateful expressions of intolerance!” One of the biggest ironies about this kerfuffle is how the political left in America has traditionally attracted Jews and Muslims. What did Will Rogers say when asked about his own political affiliation? “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
Remember when President Barack Obama’s State Department sent $350,000 to Israel to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2015? The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a bipartisan report condemning the action.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, chairman of the subcommittee said, “The State Department ignored warning signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards.” He continued, “It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure. …”
When it comes to Israel, Democrats are a party of strange bedfellows.