After Israel allows West Bank visit to grandmother, Tlaib says she’s not going
Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib changed her mind Friday on visiting the West Bank, hours after Israel said it would allow her to visit relatives in the Palestinian territory on humanitarian grounds.
The about-face was the latest in a series of maneuvers by both Tlaib and Israel and came a day after Jerusalem announced it would bar her and fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering the country in their capacity as US lawmakers because of their backing for the boycotting of Israel.
Taking to Twitter, Tlaib posted a photo of her grandmother and said Israel’s agreement to allow her to visit only under certain terms was humiliating. She stated that she would not “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.” Tlaib had been heavily criticized by Palestinian groups for initially agreeing to Israel’s terms for a family visit.
“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what [my 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.”
Her comments came following Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s decision to allow her to go to the West Bank, after she submitted a letter requesting to be allowed in despite the ban, citing her elderly grandmother, and promised not to promote boycotting Israel during her visit.
In response to Tlaib’s announcement that she would not coming after all, Deri tweeted: “Apparently [her request] was a provocation to make Israel look bad. Her hatred for Israel is greater than her love for her grandmother.” (h/t IsaacStorm)
When we first met @RashidaTlaib‘s sity-grandma the tweet featured a happy, vivacious woman in a thriving Arab city. (OOPS! THAT IS NOT THE APARTHEID NARRATIVE!) The second, politically-posed photo, was more “Occupationy” – a broken old woman on an “ancestral” Middle East set. pic.twitter.com/iod9qBS6XV
— Yishai Fleisher 🕎 ישי פליישר (@YishaiFleisher) August 16, 2019
The Office of the Prime Minister of Israel revealed that Omar and Tlaib had also planned on meeting with organizations during their visit that have expressed support for terrorism against the nation.
“However, the itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it,” the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel tweeted. “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.”
Omar and Tlaib had described their trip as a “Delegation to Palestine,” even though Palestine does not exist legally, and they did not request to meet any Israeli officials.
A closer examination of Miftah, which Israel’s PM noted was funding Omar and Tlaib’s trip, reveals that the non-governmental organization (NGO) is extremely anti-Semitic, has ties to terrorist sympathizers, and has falsely accused Jews of using “the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.” Miftah has also reportedly praised suicide bombers and deems terrorists as being national heroes.
One of the most stunning findings on the group is that they have, on their website, promoted content from a neo-Nazi organization which promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Jews control the media. The author of the article is “the Research Staff of National Vanguard Books,” which the Southern Poverty Law Center notes is a neo-Nazi organization.
Worth emphasizing again: Miftah, who were meant to be the tour guides for @RashidaTlaib and @Ilhan, published a neo-Nazi article that complained about Jewish control of the media and how it portrays white racists negatively.
Nothing about Zionism. Purely Jew-hatred. pic.twitter.com/KK42BpF0u4
— Elder Of Ziyon ҉ (@elderofziyon) August 15, 2019
A closer look at the travel itinerary for Omar and Tlaib shows that they also planned on meeting with additional extremist organizations, including the Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), which has ties to terrorism.
BTW, Miftah STILL has their attack on me for exposing their antisemitism on their website – even after supposedly apologizing for publishing the article that Jews kill Christian children for Passover matzoh. https://t.co/Q0X5jsyUU2 pic.twitter.com/5F3UNjSFAT
— Elder Of Ziyon ҉ (@elderofziyon) August 15, 2019
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”? https://t.co/KyRqim4DYQ
— Sean Durns (@SeanDurns) August 15, 2019
In politics, once can be an oversight. But twice is a pattern.
When U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., was photographed with an avowed Hizballah supporter in January – just after being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives – she claimed she didn’t know the guy or what he stood for.
But just two months later, Tlaib did it again. In a March photograph just discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Tlaib poses with Nader Jalajel, a Palestinian activist who last year mourned the death of a terrorist who led a shooting attack that murdered a rabbi.
“Allah Yerhamo,” or “May God have mercy on him,” Jalajel wrote above an image of the terrorist, Ahmed Jarrar, brandishing a gun. He died “after a long battle resisting the brutal Israeli occupation and defending his people and his land,” the image said. “We will never forget.”
Jalajel offered similar condolences Sunday after Israel killed four Hamas terrorists who crossed the border from Gaza armed with assault rifles, grenades and anti-tank rockets. “LONG LIVE THE RESISTANCE!!!” Jalajel added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday: “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.”
“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…did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition….The sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.”
“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.”
Amb. David Friedman: Tlaib/Omar Trip Was Meant to Promote Israel Boycott Movement
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday: “The United States supports and respects the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry to the Tlaib/Omar Delegation. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is not free speech. Rather, it is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State. Israel properly has enacted laws to bar entry of BDS activists under the circumstances present here, and it has every right to protect its borders against those activists in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons.”
“Initially, Israel had indicated that it would accept the Tlaib/Omar Delegation, and use their visit as an opportunity to engage with and educate the delegation members with regard to Israel’s vibrant and robust democracy, its religious tolerance and its ethnic diversity. Unfortunately, the itinerary of the Tlaib/Omar Delegation leaves no room for that opportunity….This trip, pure and simple, is nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support.”
Please read my attached statement with regard to the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry to BDS activists, Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, in accordance with its national laws. pic.twitter.com/q9M2N1uRkr
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) August 15, 2019
Israel’s ambassador to the United States said the decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country had nothing to do with President Donald Trump.
In a conference call with Jewish groups Thursday afternoon, Ron Dermer said reports implying that Israel had caved into pressure from Trump were false.
“We were not pressured by the Trump administration to do this and this is a sovereign decision that Israel has to make,” Dermer said in the call organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Last month, the ambassador had said Israel would not bar any members of Congress. But on Thursday, a few days before Omar and Tlaib were scheduled to visit, the Jewish state reversed course. The decision to ban Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., came shortly after Trump wrote on Twitter that Israel “would show great weakness” if it let in the two congresswomen.
Dermer said the decision was motivated by the fact that the two Muslim lawmakers support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country.
Michael Lumish: 5 reasons Israel was correct to deny Tlaib and Ommar access
This was my response:
You are missing five things. The first is that Israel needs to stop allowing itself to be a groveling whipping-boy to its enemies like Tlaib and Omar. The second is that if Israel had let them into the country it would likely have been much worse as they would have used the opportunity to spotlight anything ugly that they could dig up, real or manufactured.
Third, you are demanding that Israel break its own laws in favor of the whims of demonstrable enemies. Fourth, they had no intention of going to Israel, instead they were going to “Palestine,” with the implication that they believe Israel should not exist. They were not intending to engage in either diplomacy or educating themselves about that country. Their itinerary did not even include Israeli representatives, only those from the PA that literally pays young Arab men to kill Jews. Finally, virtually nobody in the US cares or even noticed.
So, let us try to keep things within a reasonable perspective. Israel, as you know, was in a lose-lose situation. It was upon the horns of a dilemma. Nonetheless, within a few weeks, this will be ancient history and the only people that will still care will be a tiny minority of antisemitic anti-Zionists of the kind that support Tlaib and Omar and those, such as ourselves, who seek to defend our brothers and sisters in Israel.
Oh, and by the way, I do not know why Shapiro should be particularly relevant to me given that I am not a conservative.
Indeed, administrations come and go every four or eight years, but members of congress often stay in positions of power for decades. It’s Congress, not the White House, that has the power to allocate funding for crucial military aid.
But the prime minister, who grew up and studied in the US, has long given up on Democrats and other liberals. Netanyahu considers left-wing Americans — including non-Orthodox American Jews — a lost cause, former and current associates acknowledge in private conversations. Rather, Netanyahu sees Evangelicals and other conservatives as his natural allies.
Even if Netanyahu gave up on Democrats, though, they haven’t given up on the country under his stewardship.
Support for the Jewish state remains a bipartisan consensus in the US. That fact was demonstrated last month when 398 Congressmen voted in favor of an anti-BDS resolution (only 17 opposed the motion, Tlaib and Omar among them; five abstained). It was underlined again this month, when unprecedentedly large delegations of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, visited Israel.
But watershed events like this, in which Israel bars duly elected Democratic congressmen seemingly at the behest of a Republican president, threaten to erode that consensus. As Oren put it, Netanyahu’s decision may not make American legislators hate Israel, but it makes it harder for many of them to love Israel.
And what, from now on, will we be saying to our other potent democratically elected critics from allied countries, those we have hitherto lambasted for not seeing for themselves? You can’t come unless you promise to be nice to us, and to see the things we want you to see? Is that, for example, how we’re going to re-word former Labor leader and current Jewish Agency chair Isaac Herzog’s previous invitation to the bitterly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn, who is hoping to become prime minister of Great Britain one day soon, and who we have decried for not making a visit?
There’s every reason, indeed, to believe that Tlaib and Omar were coming here full of bad intention, bent on doing us harm. Of course they would have sought to abuse our democratic freedoms in order to try to weaken and undermine us. But they are now filled with still greater determination to make their case against us, in a climate increasingly sympathetic to them, and we have denied ourselves the opportunity to make ours.
Perhaps what is most troubling about our closing of our own doors to these pernicious critics, however, is that the move smacks of a loss of will by our leadership, a loss of self-confidence. It suggests that Israel, or those who currently helm it, do not think they have the ammunition to fight back, and cannot muster effective arguments to counter the skewed narrative the duo would have sought to present on the ground here and will now instead present back home, un-countered, in the US.
And that is a failing that Israel simply cannot and dare not countenance. As that super-articulate defender of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, of all people, should surely know best.
Israeli Anti-Occupation NGO Hopes to Meet Rashida Tlaib
After a lot of speculation, Israel finally decided to ban Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country ahead of a planned visit to Israel and the West Bank. For Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization that claims to expose Israeli “occupation” crimes, the announcement is disappointing. Organization director Avner Gvaryahu discusses with host Jeff Smith.
What principle of democracy states that you have to issue visas to foreigners who are actively engaged in efforts to harm your citizens? If Republican Steve King were denied an entry visa into Mexico, not a single congressperson would stand up for him, not a single presidential candidate would claim that Mexico had insulted the honor of the United States, not a single Democrat would argue that it reflected poorly on Mexican democracy, and not a single pundit would contend that the Mexican-U.S. relationship was being hurt.
Would any American be bothered if the State Department denied an entry visa to a foreign elected official who actively worked toward the economic destruction of the U.S. while being an apologist for anti-American terrorist groups?
Tlaib and Omar aren’t mere “critics” of Israel. Critics have been traveling to Israel forever. Critics of Israel serve in the nation’s parliament and openly and freely take positions against the ruling government. Tlaib and Omar actively support a movement with the strategic aim of rallying the world to challenge Israel’s right to exist. They aren’t critics, they’re enemies.
The Forward: Israel Was Right to Ban Tlaib and Omar
The decision to deny Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to Israel was the right call. Omar and Tlaib were visiting Israel to do it harm. Their visit was not one of critical engagement.
Tlaib and Omar demand both their cake and the right to consume it: Yes to boycotting, and yes to visiting. Yes to indulgence in anti-Semitic tropes and fellow travelers, and yes to unfettered access to the State of the Jews. Yes to their Congressional prerogatives, and no to joining a bi-partisan group that just visited Israel, and spent time in Ramallah considering both sides in the conflict.
In truth, they were not visiting Israel at all. Their itinerary was to a fantasy where Israel does not exist yet is simultaneously an oppressor and catastrophe, where Palestinians are endlessly victimized and nuance and complexity is not on the agenda. The organization funding their trip, Miftah, was founded by Hanan Ashrawi, who has slandered Israel as a hotbed of “colonialism, apartheid, and racism.” [In May, Ashrawi was denied a visa to enter the U.S. (CNN)]
Building Israel is a project, and there is a simultaneous project to destroy Israel. If you cannot speak our name, and you treat us as a pariah, and you refuse to talk to our leaders, you are not welcome.
The New York Sun Editorial: Israel, Omar, and Tlaib: No One Is Above the Law
We don’t recall, moreover, Mrs. Pelosi, say, or Mr. Schumer or Ms. Harris objecting when the Obama administration banned a member of Israel’s Knesset from coming here. That happened as recently as 2012. The spurned visitor was Michael Ben Ari, who was given but scant explanation by the United States. Haaretz reported that he believes it was his former membership in Kach, a right-wing party.
The visa denial prompted Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, to fire off an angry letter to the U.S., calling the party to which Mr. Ben Ari currently belonged, National Union, “a completely legitimate faction of the Israeli parliament.” It’s not our intention here to untangle that knot, only to remark that we don’t recall the firm of Pelosi, Schumer, Sanders & Harris rising to Mr. Ben Ari’s defense.
We understand that denying a visa to another country’s lawmakers can lead to ironical situations. America once denied a visa to the head of the largest political party in any democracy, maybe in any country in the entire Milky Way. That was Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party in India. Now he’s the elected premier of the world’s largest democracy.
For that matter, we’re told, Britain once denied a visa to a young Knesset member named Menachem Begin, who’d been on a British wanted poster. He grew up to be not only prime minister but also a Nobel laureate in peace. Could such a reversal of fortune happen to, say, Ms. Omar or Ms Tlaib, whose proposed travel would, at least in spirit, break the very boycott they claim to support?
Rarely, our editor likes to warn, say never. The big tragedy, in our view, is for the Democratic Party itself. It has heroically supported Israel over many years. Surely it has many members seething at how their party has emerged in the van of those moving away from the Jewish state. It’s shocking that President Trump was the only leader to suggest that Israel has no reason not to enforce its own democratically enacted law.
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) August 16, 2019
Squelching Freedom of Speech
Contra Tlaib, no anti-BDS law or congressional resolution exists that has squelched people’s freedom of speech anywhere in the country. Americans who wish to criticize Israel or Israeli government policies remain free to do so 24/7, just as we all criticize our own government. The question at the heart of state-level anti-BDS laws, which 27 states have passed with bipartisan support, as well as HR 336 (a.k.a., the bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has let languish), is whether firms that support the boycott movement are entitled to contracts funded by tax dollars.
And if we’re going to debate free speech restrictions, the more compelling case is on the other side of the ledger. On many college campuses, pro-Israel students feel uncomfortable voicing their opinions, lest they be ostracized by fellow leftist students, graded down, or generally mistreated by professors hostile to Israel.
It’s worth noting that in the case of pro-Israel Jewish students, this mistreatment intersects with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism. It includes “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” as a prime example of antisemitism.
Pick a Side
But why should we expect the truth from Tlaib, or Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), for that matter? It was only after winning the Democratic primary that Tlaib switched from endorsing a two-state solution to endorsing one state and ending foreign aid to Israel, putting her leftward of J Street. For her part, Omar pretended to oppose BDS until after winning her election last November.
You could convincingly argue, as many have, that blocking Tlaib and Omar’s visit is a bad idea. You could point out that Netanyahu’s apparent reversal on this issue—he was originally inclined to let the two in—is at best a cheap bit of electioneering, and at worst a reflection of weak leadership. You could sing the praises of bipartisanship, or of the power of dialogue to move hearts and minds, or of the open society and its many merits. But describing this as a never-been-seen-before violation of democratic norms—in a news story, mind you, not an analysis or an opinion piece—is simply bonkers.
Let us revisit the facts.
In 2005, Narendra Modi, now India’s prime minister, was getting ready to visit New York and address a rally for Indian-Americans held in Madison Square Garden. The visit never happened: Invoking an obscure 1998 law that prohibits foreign leaders responsible for “severe violations of religious freedom” from receiving a visa to enter the U.S., the State Department argued that having failed to stop deadly riots years earlier in which Hindus killed Muslims in Gujarat, where he was the top official at the time, Modi shouldn’t be allowed in. The Obama administration kept its predecessor’s ban in place for a long time, even though Modi was the only person against whom the 1998 law was ever applied.
Similarly, Great Britain has banned a host of individuals whose opinions or actions it found distasteful: In the 1950s, for example, it refused to let Menachem Begin in, arguing that the Israeli parliamentarian—and future prime minister—was once engaged in violence against Her Majesty’s Armed Forces as a leader of the pre-state paramilitary Irgun. More recently, another Israeli politician, Moshe Feiglin, was instructed to stay out of London as well. Feiglin, read a letter from Britain’s Border and Immigration Agency, was “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.” The Dutch right-wing MP Geert Wilders received a similar note, this time from the Home Office, informing
Shmuley Boteach: Israel is Correct to Bar Omar and Tlaib
Israel is also not unique in determining who should be allowed to enter the country. Applicants for visas to the United States, for example, are asked several questions about their political views and activities. The USA Patriot Act allows the Secretary of State to bar admission to the United States to “any alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.”
The list of people barred or excluded from the United States includes Irish politician Gerry Adams, British singers Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) and Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim. And none of them supported movements advocating the destruction of the United States.
Israel is under constant attack, not just from terrorists, but from boycotters and others who seek to smear Israel in any way they can, via social media, mainstream media, and public relations stunts. Omar and Tlaib have every right to disparage Israel, but they cannot disguise their anti-Semitism by claiming to be merely criticizing the Israeli government. No one is silencing them, but they cannot have it both ways; they cannot promote a movement that denies the Jewish people the right to self-determination in their homeland and then complain when they are not allowed into that home.
If Israel made an exception for two promoters of BDS because they are members of Congress, it would make a mockery of the law passed by Israel’s parliament and its democratic principles. And being a member of Congress does provide license to work to destroy the world’s only Jewish state.
Findley’s example shows how the vitriol exhibited today by Ilhan Omar or her co-freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is nothing new. These controversial legislators are Findley’s progeny. Of course, there are significant differences between then and now—differences that make plain why Findley, malign as his anti-Israel animus was, didn’t have the effect on public discourse that Omar and Tlaib now enjoy.
Today, the toxic and polarized political atmosphere in Washington grants the most outrageous political flamethrowers (even ones with no experience) an outsize megaphone. This stands in stark contrast to the political norms of the 1960s and 1970s, which called for more decorum among our politicians, even if American politics had become more unwieldly relative to the generations prior.
Then there is the impact of social media, a phenomenon that was hardly conceivable during Findley’s days in office. Twitter and Facebook have transformed the way politicians engage on issues and relate to their constituents. Rather than seeking to avoid conflict, legislators now run toward political feuds on these and other platforms.
Finally, there’s the difference in American attitudes toward Israel, both in our leading political parties and among the public. When Findley turned against the Jewish state in the late 1970s, the Republican Party was split: Its old guard saw no compelling reason to upset our oil-producing Arab allies by adopting an especially close alliance with Israel. A younger wave of Republicans, animated by an appreciation of shared values and moved by the plight of Soviet Jewry, saw an important natural ally in Israel. That wave came to dominate the GOP and left voices like Findley’s in the wilderness. Additionally, Israel enjoyed broad and unapologetic public support among the American electorate.
Ilhan Omar is riding the crest of a very different political wave. Democratic support for Israel has been dropping steadily in recent years. A Gallup poll in March found that only 43 percent of Democrats sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict. And while there were some positive findings, the poll found that overall American support for Israel has fallen. As a result of the changes in American culture and attitudes, what used to be considered beyond the pale is slowly becoming mainstream. For Omar and her fellow travelers, this means that displaying overt animosity toward Israel comes at little to no cost. I never asked him personally, but Paul Findley would almost certainly have approved.
US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who have never hidden their deep dislike of Israel, have successfully boxed Israel into a lose-lose situation.
If Israel lets in the congresswomen, it will lose because they will use every opportunity – at the al-Aqsa Mosque, at the security fence, at a refugee camp – to bash the Jewish state. And the press – both local and international – will eat it up. Forget that 72 Democratic and Republican congressmen were just in the country – they could not dream of a fraction of the coverage that Omar and Tlaib will generate.
As House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told The Jerusalem Post last week: “the press loves controversy.” It is not controversial for Democrats to be pro-Israel, it is controversial – therefore, sexy and headline-worthy – for them to be anti-Israel.
And if Israel doesn’t let them in, it will lose, because it will make the country look undemocratic, and will give a full arsenal of ammunition to those who want to paint it as such. This will force Israel’s friends in the Democratic Party to condemn it, and it could impact on the positions presidential candidates will now take on Israel in the debates.
Israel, in normal circumstances, would allow them to visit. It has dealt with unfriendly congressmen on trips to the West Bank in the past, and has lived to tell about it. Just last month, Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer articulated Israel’s instincts on the matter when he said, “Out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.” But these are not normal circumstances.
1 Israel was right to reverse course and prevent representatives Omar and Tlaib from visiting. The following tweet by former Israeli MK Dr. Einat Wilf says it all: “Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have no goodwill towards Israel, or pro-Israel Jews. They are on a long-term mission to turn the US away from Israel. They are not coming with an open mind. There is no reason for Israel to allow them in and submit to their agenda.”
2 Or read this tweet, by Eugene Kontorovich. “Omar’s falsely and proactively calling this a ‘Muslim ban’ reassures me that denying the visa was the right thing to do. Anything that would happen on the trip she would absurdly blame on racism, anti-Moslem bigotry. Now the list is at least kept short, the visa denial”.
3 Why did I begin with Wilf and Kontorovich? Because there is a false impression that there are no decent arguments for banning the visit, and no decent people supportive of banning the visit. That’s not the case.
True, many legislators and Jewish leaders and Aipac and AJC opposed the ban. They also have good arguments. But these arguments are not necessarily better than the arguments raised by supporters of the ban (myself included).
Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) accused United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman of having a foreign allegiance in a tweet Thursday and shortly repeated the claim on CNN.
“His allegiance, again, is to America, not to a foreign power,” Lieu said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
In his tweet, Lieu suggested Friedman, who is an Orthodox Jew, was expressing loyalty to Israel in his support of their decision to deny entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).
“You are an American. Your allegiance should be to America, not to a foreign power. You should be defending the right of Americans to travel to other countries. If you don’t understand that, then you need to resign,” Lieu tweeted.
Lieu (D) Accuses Jewish Ambassador of Dual Loyalty
Congress recently passed a resolution condemning BDS. Last night I was condemned by a US Congressman for “dual loyalty” — classic anti-Semitic charge — simply because I followed US policy by supporting Israel’s right to oppose BDS. My head is spinning from the hypocrisy.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) August 16, 2019
Host Don Lemon noted Trump’s comments about Omar and Tlaib’s attitude about Jews, to which Jackson Lee dismissed.
“I asked the question what proof does he have?” Jackson Lee added. “I have no proof of that, and I’ve not seen nip evidence of hatred from those two members. They have different opinions from many of us. They have different opinions from many people in the United States Congress and many people in the United States, but they have opinions that are the same that some people have the United States. But the most important point is if diplomacy is diplomacy, then what it means is that you en engage, you allow discussion, dissent and debate. That’s what our constitution protects. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, we hold that very clear. And so, I would just ask the leadership of Israel and take note of the fact that AIPAC, a strong, strong resolved organization for the survival, support and promotion of the people of Israel and Israel has indicated that that was wrong-headed and that Israel should open its doors to these two members of Congress.”
Women Who Don’t Believe Israel Has Right To Exist Not Sure Why They Got Banned From Israelhttps://t.co/EdrxBHXwA5
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) August 15, 2019
The U.S. Secret Service confirmed Friday morning that it has shuttered the streets surrounding the Israeli embassy in downtown Washington, D.C. following reports “of a suspicious person and vehicle,” a Secret Service spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.
“This morning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers responded to the report of a suspicious person and vehicle near the Embassy of Israel,” the official said. ” Uniformed Division officers initiated road closures to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and MPD EOD responded to the scene and cleared the vehicle. Road closures remain in effect and will be lifted at the conclusion of the investigation.”
Multiple sources confirmed early Friday that the streets had been shutdown and Secret Service was on the scene investigating.
The incident follows a week of controversy over a now suspended visit to Israel by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.). The Israeli government denied both representatives entry to the country due to their support for the virulently anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
Two Israelis were hit by a car and injured on Friday while standing at a bus stop outside Elazar in the central West Bank, just south of Jerusalem, in what the military said was a terror attack.
A 17-year-old teenager was seriously wounded and a woman, 19, was moderately hurt, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.
The two were identified as siblings Nahum and Noam Nevis from Elazar.
They were treated at the scene; then the boy was evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and the woman was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, both in Jerusalem.
The director of Hadassah, prof. Yoram Weiss said Nahum was in surgery fighting for his life, with a skull fracture and a brain injury.
Doctors at Shaare Zedek said Noam was conscious, but suffering from injuries to her limbs.
The car rolled over after the attack, and when the suspected attacker tried to emerge from it, he was shot dead by police at the scene, reports said.
Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said the incident “looks like a terror attack” despite the fact that the car bore Israeli license plates.
“I hope we aren’t facing a new terror wave,” he was quoted as saying by Channel 12.
The attacker was identified as Ala’a Harimi, 26, from Bethlehem, who was driving a stolen car.
BREAKING: A Palestinian just rammed his car into Israeli civilians standing at a bus stop next to the community of Elazar, south of Jerusalem, injuring 2 Israeli civilians.
The terrorist has been neutralized. pic.twitter.com/3vDoCDzfkz
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 16, 2019
Ala Harimi, the accused terrorist who ran over two Israeli teenagers, was shot and killed by police on Friday in the West Bank.
According to Y Net, Harimi was 26-years-old and from Bethlehem. He was previously incarcerated in Israel from 2014-2015 for “popular terrorism.”
New video shows the suspect speeding down the street and driving recklessly before he veers off the road and hits the siblings.
An Israeli police spokesman said an officer who had been near the scene opened fire after the attacker rammed his car into people by the roadside near the Israeli settlement of Elazar, close to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said Nehum Nevis, 17, was unresponsive and “in severe condition with multisystem trauma” and that Noam Nevis, the 19-year-old sister, had sustained moderate injuries.
Two teenage assailants stabbed a police officer, moderately injuring him, in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday, officials said.
The assailants were shot by security forces at the scene. One of them was pronounced dead at the scene, the second was critically wounded and taken to the hospital, a police spokesperson said.
Graphic video footage from the scene showed the two teenagers walk up from behind a group of police officers stationed in the Old City. As they approached, they suddenly pulled out knives and began repeatedly stabbing one of the cops. Other officers at the scene opened fire at the pair as they were stabbing the victim.
The injured police officer was approximately 40 years old. He sustained multiple stab wounds to the upper body, medics said.
“We gave him medical care, including stopping the bleeding and bandaging him, and we took him to the hospital,” one of the medics on the scene said.
The officer was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Footage of Police Officer Stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City
Two Palestinian teenagers attacked Israeli police officers with knives in the Old City of Jerusalem before they were shot, leaving one assailant dead.
An officer was moderately wounded in the shoulder and he shot and neutralized his two assailants, according to Israeli police.
The Palestinian health ministry said one of the assailants was shot dead while the condition of the other remains unclear.
A year of indiscriminate rocket attacks, riots along the border fence, and incendiary balloons has put children in Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council on edge, making even those as young as five hyper-aware of their surroundings. But an afternoon with campers reveals that although they may be bruised, they love their home and will not allow Hamas to ruin their childhood. “We try not to let the security situation change our lives. As soon as we are scared to get out of our own home, they’ve won,” said Adam Russell, 16, a camp counselor. “I love living here. I would love to raise a family here, despite what’s happening.”
“It’s sad, but this is our life,” said Amit, a sixth-grader. “It’s been quiet lately. But even that’s stressful because we don’t know when the next Red Alert will be.” Naya, also in sixth grade, said, “I sometimes ask myself why do I need to know about Red Alerts? Why does a small kid need to think he or she is under attack?”
A new school that will be completely fortified is opening for these children at the beginning of the academic year, supported by the region’s partner, Jewish National Fund-USA. Limor Eilat, Resources Development Coordinator for the Eshkol Region, said, “For the first time, when a Red Alert blares, the children won’t have to drop everything and run to a bomb shelter. For an entire generation of children, that was their ‘normal.'”
“People from the center of the country always ask us why we don’t leave,” said Or, a sixth-grade girl. “We don’t want to move. Our friends are here. Our life is here. We just want to be safe.”
The windy road along the border between Israel and Lebanon is quiet. Hezbollah flags are fluttering in the distance on one side of the fence, and Israeli flags on the other. But 13 years ago at the spot I found myself, at 8:40 a.m. Hezbollah ambushed an IDF patrol, sparking the Second Lebanon War.
It’s a road full of bloody memories.
While Hezbollah claimed to have lost 250 fighters during the war, other figures put the Hezbollah death toll at more than 600.
Thousands of civilians were killed in Lebanon and 43 were killed in Israel, and thousands of foreign nationals were evacuated from Lebanon by various countries via Cyprus, Turkey or Syria.
Israel lost 121 soldiers during the 34-day 2006 Second Lebanon War, and a section of the border fence where the Hezbollah ambush occurred has 121 flowers painted on it, a flower for every soldier lost, explained Lt.-Col. (res.) Sarit Zehavi, a resident of the northern community of Kfar Havradim, as we drove along Route 8993.
An Israel Defense Forces general was reprimanded and his promotion will be delayed after a news report revealed that he took soldiers on an unauthorized tour through one of the Hezbollah tunnels discovered by Israel along its border with Lebanon.
IDF top brass censured Brig. Gen. Rafi Milo, commander of the 91st Galilee Division, saying he needlessly endangered the lives of his subordinates and risked sparking an international incident along the tense northern border.
Earlier this week, the Ynet news site reported that Milo had taken a group of soldiers on a midnight excursion inside the largest tunnel uncovered by Israel during Operation Northern Shield earlier this year.
Milo and his soldiers followed the tunnel all the way to its origin, several kilometers inside Lebanese territory. The report said that Milo did not have permission from his superiors to tour the tunnel, and did not tell anyone in the army they were going.
After the story broke, Milo was summoned for a dressing down by IDF chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and the head of the IDF Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram.
Needless to say, none of the Jews visiting the Temple Mount was involved in violence or any kind of “provocation.” The only violence that took place at the holy site came from Palestinians, who attacked the policemen with stones and chairs and hurled insults at the Jewish visitors.
By calling the visits “incursions” and “raids,” the Palestinians are trying to create the false impression that Jews are violently storming an Islamic holy site. The Arabic word Palestinians use to describe the visits: Iktiham (storm or break in). This rhetoric is meant to imply that the “extremist settlers” are carrying out a violent action against innocent Palestinians and their holy sites, thus signaling the Palestinians to rise to defend themselves and their mosque.
In the eyes of Palestinian leaders, Jews are always the “aggressors,” while Palestinians are the perpetual “victims”… in the Palestinian lexicon, a Jew peacefully touring the Temple Mount is an “aggressor,” while a Palestinian who throws stones and chairs at police officers and abuses the visitors is the real “victim.” This is the image Abbas, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are seeking to create in the minds of their people and the rest of the world.
The total number of Palestinians killed in Syria since 2011 now stands at 3,989. Where is the outrage from Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip about that? It is reserved for a Jew peacefully visiting the Temple Mount. For them, such visits are far more important than 250 Palestinian children killed in any Arab country. This sums up the Palestinian leaders’ attitude – ruinous disregard for the lives of their own children, and malign intentions for the Jews and their children.
Britain’s Mediterranean territory Gibraltar decided on Thursday to free a seized Iranian oil tanker but did not immediately indicate when or if the ship would set sail after the United States launched a new, last-minute legal bid to hold it.
The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marine commandos in darkness off the coast of the territory at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4, on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran.
Two weeks later, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz leading into the Persian Gulf.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he decided to lift the detention order after formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.
“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance with the EU Sanctions Regulation,” Picardo said.
A beautiful message of peace and unity given by Sheik Mohammed, Israeli Bedouin community leader, during a meeting with IDF commanders.
A message worth spreading 💙 pic.twitter.com/2Mone3HhBJ
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 15, 2019
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