Note: Updates at the bottom: Reps Omar And Tlaib

After first saying they would waive their anti-BDS law and allow Reps Omar and Tlaib into the country, Israel changed its mind today and decided to ban them from coming into the country on Sunday. In 2017 the Knesset passed an anti-BDS law that blocks foreign BDS activists from gaining entry to Israel as the BDS movement is not only anti-Semitic but calls for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.

Note: If anyone needs a refresher on BDS and why it is anti-Semitic, it’s explained in this article.

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Interior Minister Aryeh Deri who made the decision said:

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“The state of Israel respects the American Congress as part of the close alliance between the two countries. But it is inconceivable that Israel would be expected to let into the country those who wish to hurt it, including by means of the visit itself,

President Trump lobbied hard for Israel to ban the two members of Congress. However,  his urging had little to do with the decision to bar Reps Omar And Tlaib. Despite the pressure, two weeks ago, US Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer made it clear that Israel would allow the two inside Israel. His tweet on Thursday morning was made after Israel decided to stop the two from entering Israel.

The change in the Israeli position was made when the government saw the Omar/Tlaib trip itinerary. Their trip schedule made it clear they would be spending their entire trip in Judea, Samaria, and  East Jerusalem and was intended to provoke hatred of the Jewish State and advance their BDS agenda.

Per Israel’s Labor Minister, the visitation plan they prepared was entirely aimed at provocation and incitement against the State of Israel, and not to study the State of Israel’s activities. In other words, they weren’t coming to Israel to investigate what was happening there, they weren’t even going to visit Israel (only the disputed territories). They were coming to Israel for a big anti-Israel PR event, and to push the BDS call for the destruction of the Jewish State.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the sponsor of  Reps Omar and Tlaib’s trip was an organization called Miftah, which once  claimed that “Jews use the blood of Christians in Jewish Passover.” They were also meeting with the group Defense for Children International a group tied to PFLP, a socialist terrorist group responsible for the deaths of over a hundred innocents.

Interestingly the action was not without precedent. In 2012, the US State Department banned Israeli Knesset member Michel Ben Ari from coming into the US and to launch a collaborative project between the Knesset and Congress. Ben Ari was considered an extremist both in the US and Israel, just like Reps Omar and Tlaib, but the State Dept. called him a terrorist. At the time Israeli President Rivlin said, The U.S. refusal to grant entry to Ben Ari because of what it said are his ties to a terrorist group amounts to “an assault on the Knesset as a whole. The United  States’ allegation that an MK is a terrorist is unacceptable.”

Democratic Party leaders made it clear to top foreign ministry officials that if Israel bans the entry of Omar and Talib a red line in relations with the party will also be struck, which they claim has already been hurt by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s three-decade-long friendship with President Trump. Many top Democrats complain that friendship motivated the Israeli government to move away from the Democrats. Anyone who makes those claims is either lying for political purposes or hasn’t read a newspaper since 2008.

Below are a few examples.

In his book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren explained how Democratic Party President purposely drove a wedge through the U.S./Israel relationship. Oren said that from the moment he entered office, Obama abandoned the two core principals of the American alliance with Israel:

The first principle was “no daylight.” The U.S. and Israel always could disagree but never openly. Doing so would encourage common enemies and render Israel vulnerable. Contrary to many of his detractors, Mr. Obama was never anti-Israel and, to his credit, he significantly strengthened security cooperation with the Jewish state. He rushed to help Israel in 2011 when the Carmel forest was devastated by fire. And yet, immediately after his first inauguration, Mr. Obama put daylight between Israel and America.

“When there is no daylight,” the president told American Jewish leaders in 2009, “Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.” The explanation ignored Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and its two previous offers of Palestinian statehood in Gaza, almost the entire West Bank and half of Jerusalem—both offers rejected by the Palestinians.

Mr. Obama also voided President George W. Bush’s commitment to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement. Instead, he insisted on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas—“not a single brick,” I later heard he ordered Mr. Netanyahu—while making no substantive demands of the Palestinians.

Obama even “changed” the American Jewish leaders a president would invite to a meeting, kicking out the Zionist Organization of America and substituting the anti-Israel George Soros created group J Street.

The same Democrats and liberals who were angry about Russian interference in the American election, forget that a Democratic President interfered with an Israeli election:

“What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu,” John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York.

“There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McLaughlin said.

In creating the 2012 platform, the Democrats removed the following paragraph (note- pay special attention to the bold added for this post):

The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths

The Jerusalem line was added back during the convention (over the objections of the delegates), but the remaining planks were never added back, nor do they appear in the 2016 document. Let’s take a more in-depth look at those missing planks:

  • The United States should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism. By taking this out, the Democrats were saying they did not support Israel’s fight against terror.
  • …should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere between 800,000-900,000 (there was an equal number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands), today the number is over 4 million. The Palestinian refugee count is the only example in history where the number has grown without a population shift (the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother’s side, friends, etc. as refugees). Since they cannot defeat Israel militarily; one of the Palestinians’ strategies is to flood democratic Israel with “refugees” so it will cease to exist as a Jewish state via election. That is why the 2008 platform included the refugee statement. The fact that the Democrats took it out and continue to omit it this year is an indication that the party and their standard-bearer are open to the Palestinian strategy which will destroy Israel as a Jewish State.
  • … All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Obama walked away from that big-time in May when he called for Israel to begin negotiations by agreeing to return to the 1949 lines rather than making it a product of negotiation. He was basically telling Israel to make concessions before any negotiations. By removing this plank, the democrats were telling Israel to concede rather than negotiate and get something from those concessions

Those three points were also kept out of the platform in 2016.

There are so many other examples like the Democratic Party led Iran deal which would have allowed Iran to create nuclear weapons in 2025. Obama walking out of a meeting in the White House, embarrassing the Israeli Prime minister and letting him to stew in a WH conference room for over an hour, the Democrats and Obama blasting Israel in 2010 because they added bathrooms to an existing community in Judea and Samaria.

And in one of his final actions. Obama directed his UN Ambassador to abstain in a  UN Security Council vote which gave the Palestinians a free pass to continue to avoid negotiations, and it locked Israel into the 1948 Armistice line, declaring that Judea, Samaria, and the Jewish People’s holiest Jerusalem sites as occupied Palestinian land.

Was Israel correct to bar Tlaib and Omar? I don’t know any country in the world that would allow a visit from people intending to provoke their enemies who want the country destroyed.

And while the Democrats will contend it is the latest attempt to favor President Trump and the GOP, the truth is that Israel still pushes bi-partisanship. They never moved away from the Democratic Party, and toward the GOP, the Democratic Party moved away from Israel.

UPDATE#1: Bibi Issues a Statement:

“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.
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.
Therefore, the Minister of Interior has decided not to allow their visit, and I, as Prime Minister, support his decision.
Nonetheless, if 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.”

 

UPDATE #2: It is true that AIPAC objected to the banning, but this is the same organization that Rebuked the 2012 and 2016 Republican platforms because they thought the platforms were too pro-Israel. David Harris, the head of the AJ Committee also rebuked the Israeli move. Harris is a huge Democratic Party fundraiser who held fundraisers for the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Barack Obama in his home.

 

UPDATE #3: 

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said in a statement on Friday that Tlaib had asked to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank. In a letter published by Deri’s office, Tlaib said

“I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa,” Tlaib wrote in the letter, which became public on Friday morning.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” the Congresswoman added. “I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”

Permission was granted per the statement Netanyahu issued on Thursday (see Update #1)

UPDATE #4: Tlaib got some pushback from the Palestinian Community for agreeing to Israel’s restrictions, so she changed her mind.  I suppose seeing her grandma one last time wasn’t that important. The restrictions were Omar (who is Somalian) didn’t come and Tlaibe would participate in BDS activities while on her trip. 

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, responded to Tlaib,  “Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib just tweeted that she will not visit Israel. Last night, she sent me a letter asking me to allow her to visit her grandmother, who is in her 90s, because ‘this might be my last opportunity to see her.’ I agreed to this humanitarian request, but it turns out that it was just a provocation aimed at embarrassing Israel. Her hatred of Israel is greater than her love for her grandmother.”

Ain’t that the truth.

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