Kevin D. Williamson: America’s Other ‘Special Relationship’ Remains Worth Preserving
Friedman is not 100 percent wrong in his argument here — and he is about 80 percent wrong, on average. It may not be that the entire Republican party is pro-Israel, but the GOP is overwhelmingly pro-Israel, and has been with and without Benjamin Netanyahu in office. And it is not the case that the entire Democratic party is anti-Israel, though it unquestionably is the case that the ascendant left wing of the Democratic party is anti-Israel. Representative Omar is bitterly anti-Israel, to the point of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. Representative Tlaib is anti-Israel. A whole lot of Democrats who support the BDS movement are anti-Israel.
The Right’s celebratory interest in Israel is easy to understand, even if you think some of it is a little dopey. But why is the Left so intensely interested in Israel? Of course, there are things to criticize about Israel and its government. But it is by any measure of decency and liberalism a top-tier country. I am not aware of a boycott movement directed at, say, Pakistan. Or Turkey. Or Egypt. Or Venezuela. Or Russia. Or Burma. Or China. Or the Palestinian statelet, for that matter.
(I once was accosted by one of those clipboard-wielding cretins in Union Square who wanted me to sign on to boycotting Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. I told him I planned to start boycotting the Palestinians as soon as they managed to produce something worth boycotting.)
There are many countries in the world that merit criticism. Why is the American Left fixated on the Jewish state? Belgium can be pretty rough on refugees. Have you ever heard an American progressive collapse into a weeping fit about Belgium? Israel, though . . .
And, really, are Thomas Friedman et al. quite confident that it is Donald Trump and not, say, the people looking to economically ruin Israel as a pet political project, making the U.S.-Israeli relationship a partisan issue? It is easy to see an argument that a thriving Israel accords with U.S. interests abroad. Is there an argument that a diminished and destabilized Israel — or an Israel consumed in fire, as Representative Omar’s rambunctious little Hamas buddies would prefer — is in the interest of the United States?
If there is, I have not yet heard it.
First, they praised the terrorist who murdered a US senator’s niece. Then they were chosen by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to organize her now-cancelled trip to Israel. Tlaib’s outrageous choice of the pro-terrorist group Miftah to run her trip is a slap in the face of the United States Congress, and deserves to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.
The fact that Rep. Tlaib chose Miftah to organize her trip is no secret; it was widely reported by major news media outlets. The problem is that nobody is explaining what “Miftah” really is. The New York Times, for example, reported only that Miftah is a group “that promotes ‘global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.’”
Ironically, one the “Palestinian realities” of which Miftah reminds us is that the Palestinian Authority (PA) regards Palestinian Arab murderers of American citizens as heroes.
The official Miftah website features an essay by one of the group’s leaders, Ms. Johara Baker, profusely praising Dalal Mughrabi, the murderer of Gail Rubin, the niece of the late US Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Democrat of Connecticut.
Ms. Baker is not some minor figure at Miftah. At the time she wrote her article praising Mughrabi, she was identified as the group’s “Director of the Media and Information Department.” Elsewhere on the Miftah website, she is listed with other titles. Last year, she was one of Miftah’s representatives at a gathering to discuss “Possible Repercussions of the Collapse of the International Order on the Palestinian Issue.”
Mughrabi was the leader of a PLO death squad that came ashore in northern Israel early one morning in March 1978. Gail Rubin, a nature photographer, was walking along the beach. Mughrabi shot her in the head. Then Mughrabi and her gang hijacked an Israeli bus, and carried out what is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Massacre. They slaughtered 37 people. That remains the highest casualty toll in any terrorist attack in Israel’s history.
Ask someone at random what Israel should do to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the answer you’re most likely to get is “end the occupation.” For most Westerners, this means the West Bank (acquired by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War).
However, for most Palestinians the occupation is not limited to the West Bank, but consists of “historic Palestine,” which includes the whole of Israel. For most Palestinians, the occupation began in 1948 when Israel was born, and they won’t be satisfied by anything less than the elimination of the State of Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian TV in October 2013: “All Palestinian land is occupied – Gaza is occupied, the West Bank is occupied, the 1948 lands [i.e., Israel] are occupied and Jerusalem is occupied.”
A June 2019 survey by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion found that only 30% of West Bankers would approve a two-state solution. The majority say “the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue, until all of historic Palestine is liberated.”
There is no mistaking the meaning of the chant heard at virtually all pro-Palestinian rallies: “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.” The river is the Jordan River and the sea is the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, Palestine is Israel.
The Palestinians memorialize the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” to mourn the 1948 War of Independence and the creation of Israel. That is the occupation they seek to end to this day.
In a firebrand speech on Aug. 10, 2019, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinians are “the Canaanites,” the “land belongs to the Canaanites”, and every Israeli house “built on our land” will end up “in the garbage dump of history.”
The PA leadership often falsely declares that today’s Palestinians are descendants of the biblical Canaanites in order to imagine they have an ancient historical connection to the land of Israel. Here Abbas went even further, declaring that every Israeli home built on “Canaanite land,” meaning all of Israel, will be destroyed. His reference to “settlements” is consistent with the PA often referring to all of Israel as “occupied” or “1948 lands” and Israeli cities all through the state of Israel as “settlements”:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “We say to [Israel]: Every stone you have built on our land and every house you have built on our land – there is no escaping that they will disappear, Allah willing. And the more they announce houses here or settlements there – they will all disappear, Allah willing, and will be on history’s garbage dump. And [Israelis] will remember that this land belongs to its people; this land belongs to its inhabitants; this land belongs to the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago – and we are the Canaanites! …
We will enter Jerusalem as fighters by the millions. We will all enter it, all of the Palestinian people and all of the Arab and Islamic and Christian nations! Everyone will enter Jerusalem! We will not agree that they consider our Martyrs terrorists – our Martyrs, the homeland’s Martyrs! And we will not agree that they [Israel] deduct one penny from their money (referring to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law; see note below -Ed.). All of their money will return to them – because for us the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners are the most sanctified… Give us our [money by] right or we will take it by all means (i.e., Palestinian term that includes use of terror)… I turn to our people in Gaza and I say to them: Enough! Enough of this rift! Who benefits from this rift? It only benefits the enemy; and the Hamas leadership is acting for the enemy.” [Facebook page of the PA Presidential Office, Aug. 10, 2019]
Honest Reporting: Did Arab Violence Really Start With the ‘Occupation’?
Arab violence is frequently justified because of the “Naqba” of 1948 and the “occupation” of 1967.
After all, they insist, Jews forced Arabs from their homes and villages, so the Arabs have a right to fight to return to their ancestral property.
But if those are what the Palestinians are truly fighting against, how are we to understand Arab violence against Jews before the wars of 1948 and 1967 took place?
What is their explanation for Arab violence against Jews in the 1920s?
Yes, the 1920s!
The Mufti Incites Arab Violence
In 1919, Haj Amin el-Husseini, leader of one of the most prominent Arab clans in Jerusalem, began to organize “fedayeen,” (literally – “one who sacrifices himself”) – small groups of terrorists who were willing to die while killing Jews. The stated goal was to force the Jews to flee from Palestine. They first attacked Tel Hai, a Jewish neighborhood in the north near the Syrian border in January and then attacked Tel Hai again on March 1. These terrorists killed eight Jews and injured 200.
During March and April, more than a dozen Jewish agricultural settlements in the Galilee including Kfar Tavor, Degania, Rosh Pina, Ayelet Hashahar, Mishmar Hayarden, Kfar Giladi and Metulla. were attacked by Arab terrorists. During Passover of that year, the Mufti incited the masses to attack the Jewish population in the Old City of Jerusalem, killing five Jews and injuring more than 100.
Husseini began to organize larger attacks in 1921 and the British High Commissioner in charge of Palestine, Herbert Samuel named Husseini Mufti of Jerusalem with the hope that he could influence him to bring the Arab violence to a halt. The two even met on April 11, 1921 and Husseini promised that he would be “devoted to tranquility.”
Dennis Prager: Criticism of Israel Is Not Anti-Semitism; Anti-Zionism Is
The fact that, of all the world’s 200-plus countries, the only country anti-Zionists declare illegitimate is also the only Jewish country is pretty much all you need to know about their motives. Why, for example, don’t they make this claim about Pakistan? In 1947, nine months before the establishment of Israel, India was partitioned into a Muslim state — Pakistan — and a Hindu state — India.
Unlike Israel, Pakistan had never existed before.
Unlike Israel’s founding, which created about 700,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands and 700,000 Arab refugees from what became Israel, the founding of Pakistan created about 7 million Muslim refugees from India and about 7 million Hindu refugees from Pakistan. And while the highest estimate of Arab deaths in the fighting that took place when Israel announced its establishment is 10,000, the number of deaths as a result of Pakistan’s creation is around 1 million.
Given these facts, why is Israel’s legitimacy challenged while the legitimacy of Pakistan isn’t? There’s only one answer: Israel is the one Jewish state in the world. So, while there are 49 Muslim-majority countries and 22 Arab states, anti-Zionists reject the right of the one Jewish state — the size of New Jersey — to exist.
Of course, not all anti-Zionists hate all Jews. But as I wrote at the beginning, if you seek to destroy Italy, you don’t have to hate every Italian to be anti-Italian. If you seek to destroy the only Jewish state on Earth, you don’t have to hate every Jew to be an anti-Semite.
Whether one agrees with Israel’s decision or not, it was made from a position of strength, not weakness. Israel’s democracy has proven time and again that it can withstand any criticism, whether from grassroots activists to nation-state leaders.
The special relationship between Israel and the United States is based on shared values and mutual respect. For those members of Congress who continue to express those shared values and show respect towards the Jewish nation as a power and a positive force, they will always be invited and welcomed with open arms.
Unfortunately, progressive members of the Democratic Party are introducing a new set of political values and seemingly working to deride the Israeli government. This stark distancing from Israel, which has embedded itself within the party long before Omar and Tlaib were elected, threatens the U.S. relationship with Israel much more than the government’s reaction to a provocative itinerary meant to further delegitimize the Jewish state.
And whether the decision was the correct move—either from the point of Israel’s complicated public relations or from the purview of maintaining Israel’s long-term bond with the Democratic Party—it is well within its sovereign right as a strong and free nation to decide either to let the two enter or to #skiptheirtrip.
Israelis know that their actions are always under a microscope, more so than any other country in the world. So when they have time to make a decision – and there was plenty of time to contemplate this decision – it should be made with a clear understanding of the diplomatic costs. And before announcing its decision to the world, Israel should prepare and then immediately put into play proactive responses crafted to obviate the political fallout.
Waffling on a decision is one of the worst things Israel can do. It sends the wrong message. It clouds the correctness of the decision. It suggests that the foundation for the decision was shaky and that it was not based on conviction and proper values.
That, unfortunately, is what just happened.
Making the right decision even when it is politically unwise is still the right decision. One should try to explain the right decision, but Israel should never apologize for it.
What people do not understand is that there are serious limits to freedom of speech in democratic societies. Freedom of speech is not a free-for-all where anyone can say anything they want. There are restrictions. A call to action that will cause damage to a state or harm to anyone is an exception to freedom of speech. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is an example of that type of action. The raison d’être of BDS is to hurt Israel. As such, in Israel, BDS supporters are not protected by freedom of speech.
Israel should not and cannot lend a platform to those who actively organize actions that will damage her. That is why, in 2017, Israel passed a law allowing the state to actively prevent BDS supporters from coming to Israel and using the country as a platform of attack.
One of the most important responsibilities of a state is to protect itself. It is a slam-dunk exception to freedom of speech.
Israel must protect itself.
Every democracy would take steps against those who want to destroy it. The BDS movement that the congresswomen’s trip was set to advance wants to destroy the State of Israel. The trip was set to be co-sponsored by Miftah, a Ramallah-based organization, whose leaders not only back BDS but have expressed sympathy for suicide bombers.
The most controversial reason not to let in Tlaib and Omar was that US President Donald Trump asked Netanyahu not to do so and tweeted that letting them in would show weakness. The prime minister obviously cannot afford to be seen as weak with an election ahead, and this president has done so much for Israel that his requests, reasonable or not, should not be ignored.
It could be argued that Trump’s motives are impure and Netanyahu harmed Israel by letting the president use him to paint the Democratic Party in the extremist image of Tlaib and Omar. But if that is what it takes for Trump to be reelected, despite his fickle behavior on both the Middle East and the economy, that is clearly in Israel’s interest, because no potential opponent would do for Israel what Trump has done. For all those reasons, AIPAC’s decision to give legitimacy to Israel’s critics by scolding Israel for not permitting Tlaib and Omar into the country was incorrect, even though it was understandable.
Furthermore, AIPAC is supposed to follow the lead from Israel: Israel is not supposed to follow the lead from AIPAC. In the final analysis, Israel does not need to aid the enemy in the name of bipartisanship, and a Congressional badge is not a shield for antisemitism. Facing that double-edged sword, Netanyahu made the right decision. The result should be that, unlike the negative future brought by Josiah’s decision, Netanyahu’s should enable Israel to continue to thrive.
Beyond Miftah, Omar, and Tlaib, the same media whitewash occurs regarding the antisemitic BDS movement. Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the movement, compares Israel to the Nazis, claims Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian children “for sport,” denies that Jews are one of the indigenous peoples of the region and have no right to self-determination—sometimes all in the same speech. The basic history of the movement and its leaders will be found nowhere in the BDS explainer published by The New York Times, perhaps because the paper recently published a wildly dishonest op-ed by Barghouti himself.
The establishment press must be getting quite a crick in its collective neck from having to look away so often from the antisemitic elements of the left, including within the Democratic Party. It is a case where biased journalism slouches into bad citizenship.
The Corbynization of Britain’s Labour Party happened in large part because the local media tended to ignore it. The left vehemently disagrees, but when you read the account of Josh Glancy, the New York correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, it is difficult to miss how much denial within the media aided Corbyn until it was too late.
Allowing antisemitism to fester within the Democratic Party and defending obviously antisemitic Democrats is bad for the country. And looking at the current struggles of the Labour Party, it is likely to be toxic for Democrats most of all. Even a biased press corps ought to recognize that much. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Beinart, a writer for The Atlantic, bristled when The Lead fill-in host John Berman noted Miftah’s ugly background and Omar only making a passive reference to it in her comments.
“Palestinians don’t have to be saints in order to have the basic rights that all of us take for granted,” Beinart said. “Miftah has said things that I disagree with. They made an anti-Semitic statement they apologized for … The first time I went to spend time with Palestinians in the the West Bank, it was a shattering experience.”
He compared their situation to the Jim Crow South in the United States. Beinart, while noting he had a friend killed in a suicide bombing, said what was most important was Omar’s remarks about the state of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
Lowry responded, however, by saying the media wouldn’t give a white nationalist organization the “leeway” Beinart was giving Miftah.
“This is an anti-Semitic group that’s supported terrorism, supports blowing up innocent civilians and children and no matter what you think of the dispute between Palestinians and Israel, that is an illegitimate tactic that no one should associate with,” Lowry said.
“There are many Palestinians who believe the Palestinians have the right to use violence because of the daily violent oppression they feel,” Beinart said. “I disagree with them. I believe in only nonviolent protest but the point is every time any Palestinian leader or any Palestinian organization tries to expose what happens, this is exactly what happens. People try to discredit them because they don’t want to talk about the real issue. The real issue is an absolutely indefensible denial of basic human rights.”
Months before Israel decided to bar US Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the West Bank and Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the pair for backing a boycott of Israel in a letter to Democratic lawmakers.
Netanyahu’s missive, dated June 2 and addressed to Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, called the two lawmakers the “antithesis” to “bipartisan support for Israel” in Congress, according to a Monday report from the Washington Post.
The premier’s letter was in response to an appeal from 17 Democratic lawmakers for Netanyahu to prevent the deportation of Human Rights Watch’s American director for Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir.
Netanyahu accused Shakir of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which aims to “isolate and ultimately destroy the State of Israel,” he said. He noted that the letter from the lawmakers was signed by Tlaib and Omar.
Netanyahu wrote: “I was surprised to see among the signatories of your letter two BDS supporters, whose repeated condemnations of Israel and calls to boycott the Jewish state are the antithesis of the strong support for Israel expressed in the beginning of your letter and the strong bipartisan support for Israel in the United States Congress.”
“The inclusion of BDS sympathizers in your plea can only blemish those esteemed representatives whose political integrity and genuine concern for international human rights is undeniable,” he wrote.
Reps. Omar & Tlaib Slam Israel in Joint Press Conference
US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) held a press conference Monday afternoon to address Israel’s decision to bar them entry into the country last week.
The present-day checkpoints and wall system that Tlaib is complaining about were built to combat the nihilistic violence she will never condemn. The walls worked, of course, with bombing attacks dropping to nearly zero since then (if you don’t count the thousands of rockets that are launched from Gaza every year.)
And if the congresswoman wants to know why her Sity can’t easily go to a hospital in Jerusalem, well, it’s because ambulances and medical service trucks have been used to hide suicide bombers and weapons. Why aren’t there quality hospitals in the West Bank? Because corrupt Palestinian leaders, who have been given widespread autonomy and huge amounts of international aid, don’t build them for her.
The idea that Israel erected walls out of an innate racist desire to punish Muslims (millions of whom live peacefully, vote, and freely express themselves in Israel in ways they can’t anywhere in the Islamic world), is a vacuous leftist fairy tale.
There is no doubt that checkpoints and walls inconvenience many Arabs—although far fewer than Tlaib insinuates—but they also save lives. That’s not only the lives of Israelis but also the lives of those who would die in the retaliatory strikes against terror organizations that often hide behind women and children.
If Tlaib’s grandmother has had her dignity denied someone, it’s by a government that refuses to engage in good-faith peace efforts for the past 55 years to help its own people. Tlaib can blame the Palestinian Authority for Sity’s troubles.
Morton A. Klein: Lies, lies and more lies: The Omar/Tlaib press conference
Tlaib/Omar repeatedly falsely claimed that Israel occupies “Palestinian land” and demanded an “end to occupation” – their Orwellian method of calling for Israel’s destruction: In fact, Israel is not an “occupier” because Israel, Judea/Samaria (a/k/a the West Bank) and Jerusalem are all lands designated for the Jewish homeland, both historically and under binding international law. There has never been a state of “Palestine,” ever. The only way one can be an “occupier” is to occupy another nation’s sovereign land. Israel is not, and cannot be an “occupier” of her own land. Additionally, the Palestinians rejected a state 4 times in the last 19 years on virtually all the disputed lands—because it required them accepting Israel as a Jewish State and agreeing to no further claims.
Moreover, the Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel, Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem. The word “Jew” comes from “Judea” – where the Jewish people lived for over 3,000 years. The Jewish kingdoms existed for hundreds of years. There was always a Jewish presence in Israel. Jerusalem is the Jewish people’s holiest city and site of the first and second Jewish Temples – the holiest Jewish site. Jewish holy books mention Jerusalem 700 times. The Koran never mentions Jerusalem. Throughout the millennia, Jews always pray for Jerusalem and pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca, and have no prayers for Jerusalem.
By contrast, Arab “Palestinians” are not indigenous to Israel. Most immigrated to Israel from Arab nations (Egypt, Syria, etc.) and from northern Africa (Algeria, etc.) after waves of Jewish communities started rebuilding Israel in the mid-to-late 1800s through mid-1900s. “Palestinian” Arab last names reveal their origin in Egypt, North Africa and elsewhere.
Anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) unleashed a series of false statements about Israel on Monday in response to the nation blocking her from entering after Omar planned to meet with organizations that support terrorism against Israel, including one that has promoted neo-Nazi screeds.
Omar continued to lie about the trip she had planned on taking to “Palestine” — which does not exist — by falsely claiming that she planned on meeting with Israeli officials during the trip.
“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 last week. The statement was verified as accurate based off of Omar’s travel itinerary which showed that she had not made a single arrangement to meet with any officials from Israel.
Omar planned on meeting with groups that praised suicide bombers who killed Jews, promoted neo-Nazi screeds, and have connections to designated terrorist organizations.
Democratic US Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan on Monday blasted Israel’s refusal to grant them entry to the country over their support for boycotting the Jewish state, with Omar saying that Washington should halt aid to Israel and that Jerusalem’s decision was incompatible with its position as a US ally and a democracy.
Tlaib and Omar, who had planned to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on a tour organized by a stridently anti-Israel Palestinian group, are outspoken critics of Israel and supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. Tlaib has said she is in favor of a one-state formula to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict that would essentially spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
Israel denied entry on Thursday to the two lawmakers — the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress — under a 2017 law denying entry to supporters of the boycott movement, hours after US President Donald Trump tweeted that the Jewish state would be showing weakness if it gave them permission to come. Israel had granted Omar and Tlaib permission to enter in principle last month.
In a news conference in St. Paul, Omar said Monday that Israel’s actions were “not compatible” with being a democracy or an ally of the US.
She denied claims that she had not planned to meet any Israeli officials during her trip, saying she had scheduled meetings with Arab Knesset members, representatives of the controversial left-wing organization Breaking the Silence and other officials.
A group of Democratic members of the House of Representatives is considering opening an investigation into the conduct of US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman following Israel’s decision to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from entering the country.
The group is also reportedly considering releasing a statement of no confidence in Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.
According to a report by McClatchy DC news, a senior congressional aide told the site that some 12 Democratic representatives—including Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee—were “reviewing all of our options.”
According to the report, the aide went on to say that “with Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government, given he has made promises that he has not kept and [that it isn’t] clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”
Prior to Jerusalem’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar based on a law allowing Israel’s Interior Ministry to deny entry to pro-boycott activists, Dermer had said Israel would not deny entry to any member of Congress.
After the initial decision to bar the entry of Tlaib and Omar, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on Friday issued entry approval for Tlaib on humanitarian grounds due to her desire to visit her elderly grandmother.
Tlaib signed an agreement that she would not participate in boycott-related activities or promotions while in Israel, but subsequently retracted her agreement, saying that she preferred not to visit her grandmother than to agree not to promote boycotts of Israel.
Rashida Tlaib had asked to go to “Palestine,” which so far does not exist, on a trip arranged and co-sponsored by a Palestinian not-for-profit organization, Miftah, headed by longtime Israel-antagonist, Hanan Ashrawi. The group is described by Becket Adams in the Washington Examiner as “an exceptionally anti-Semitic group that praises Palestinian terrorists and claims Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover. The organization also publishes Neo-Nazis and calls for the destruction of Israel.” Miftah has also called female suicide bombers heroes.
“I have never felt more Palestinian, than I have felt in Congress”, she defiantly declared to the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights in April 2019. That does seem a bit rich, coming from the same woman who has taken succour in tweeting that Senators who supported a pro-Israel bill “forget what country they represent.”
She simply seems uninterested in any type of protest that does not involve either noisy eviction or arrest, or in which she cannot get attention or be regarded as a victim. It is hard not to wonder what she is doing for her constituents. Is the wish to bash Israel actually what keeps the good voters of Michigan awake at night? And is anti-Semitism now the accepted new face of the Democrat party?
“I have to tell you, we have to understand first, what is the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement? It’s an anti-Semitic, basically genocidal movement that wants to see the end of Israel. So make no mistake, these are not moderates coming to visit Israel. Israel per its 2017 law has a right to prohibit activists, especially those who want to see it wiped off the map, from coming in.” – M. Zuhdi Jasser, Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
A recent 2019 scratch shows Israeli soldiers off-boarding a jet in Brumadinho, Brazil in order to assist in the saving of Brazilian lives after a toxic waste damn collapsed killing at least eighty-four people and displacing hundreds of others in January of this year. The Israeli soldiers are greeted on the tarmac by a figure representing Jair Bolsonaro, the President of that country, saying “Welcome to Brumadinho!” In response, a smiling Israeli soldier says, “Sorry for our delay! We’re busy killing Palestinians!” The headline preceding the scratch reads, “Brumadhinho: Israel’s Publicity Stunt in Brazil.” Thus, when Israel undertakes a humanitarian operation within Latuff’s country, he uses it as a cynical opportunity to defame the Jewish State, if not the Jewish people of Israel, more generally.
In a blurb directly above the malicious scratch, Latuff wrote:
“Now this contingent of the Israeli army (IDF) was sent to Brazil as “humanitarian aid”, coming from an army which routinely oppresses, brutalizes and kills Palestinians in the occupied territories. It may sound like a joke. A joke in bad taste! Like “pinkwashing” and other PR strategies, this is just another stunt in order to whitewash Israel’s gross human rights violations in the occupied territories of Palestine.”
Latuff, it must also be noted, came in second place with a scratching for Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Competition equating Palestinian-Arabs with Jews in Nazi concentration camps, a theme which is a specialty for Latuff. It should not, therefore, surprise the fans of the Democratic Party’s anti-American, anti-Zionist, antisemitic “dynamic duo” that they were proud to share the recent defamatory Latuff cartoon with the world on their Instagram accounts.
Ronn Blitzer, of FOX News, tells us, “It is unclear whether Tlaib or Omar were aware of Latuff’s history when they shared the recent cartoon. Fox News reached out to both lawmakers, but they did not immediately respond.”
Perhaps by the time you read this they will have responded, although it is highly unlikely that they would do so on or for FOX. Nonetheless, there is no possible way that people as up to their necks in the antisemitic anti-Zionist cause could possibly have been unaware of Carlos Latuff. He is famous for delicious hatred in their circles.
Ben Shapiro reacts to controversial image shared by Reps. Omar, Tlaib
Eugene Kontorovich: The Heat: Israel denies entry to two members of US Congress Pt 2
Jonathan S. Tobin: Democrats let radicals take the lead
The mere fact that the tour Tlaib and Omar were planning was organized by Miftah, a Palestinian group led by Hanan Ashrawi that is guilty of numerous acts of open anti-Semitic hate, is far more worthy of investigation and censure than anything Dermer and Friedman did or didn’t do. Neither Miftah’s involvement nor the agenda for the trip justified its cancellation, nor would it have caused more harm to Israel than the ban. But the willingness of the media and the Democrats to ignore Tlaib and Omar’s involvement with a group whose anti-Semitism is morally equivalent to that of neo-Nazis is a major aspect of the story that shouldn’t be ignored. At the same time, Democrats have screamed bloody murder about connections between a GOP outlier like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who was eventually and rightly punished by his party, which were less damning than what Tlaib and Omar have done. Those who have sought to connect dots between the president and hate groups he has repeatedly condemned are in no position to ignore direct evidence of Tlaib and Omar’s hatemongering.
Whatever you may think about the wisdom of the ban, the reaction to it from Democrats is out of all proportion to the offense given or the facts about the stars of this tawdry exercise in anti-Israel agitation.
Indeed, by attempting to censure the ambassadors – and treating the Tlaib-Omar campaign against Israel as credible or legitimate – the Democrats are justifying the claim of some on the right that ties between their party and Israel are already so tenuous that no effort to repair them is worth the effort. That is why it’s vital that Democrats who care about the Jewish state should resist pressure to turn this incident into a genuine crisis and instead refocus their efforts on demonstrating that “The Squad” doesn’t speak for their party on Israel or any other issue.
Doing so will not only be the right thing to do but will do more to help them win in 2020 than letting anti-Semites like Tlaib and Omar set the agenda for them.
As expected The Guardian published two full blown rants over the weekend concerning Israel’s refusal to allow congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel due to their public support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
The Guardian’s editorial called barring their entry “a bad day for Israel, and a worse one for the US” while Emma Goldberg called it a ploy “to quiet anti-occupation activism”.
So far, so Guardian.
However, a piece by Oliver Holmes explaining why Tlaib had rejected Israel’s humanitarian offer to visit her grandmother had a moment of unexpected clarity when Holmes writes:
“The BDS movement seeks to end the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories and discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for almost a fifth of the population. It also demands that Israel allow several million Palestinian refugees and their families to return to their homes.
Israel argues the movement is antisemitic and seeks to dismantle Israel as a Jewish state by reducing its Jewish majority.”
It’s rare to see Israel’s argument laid out in any news article let alone in The Guardian. Holmes shows that Israel’s refusal to allow Tlaib and Omar entry isn’t simply “to quiet anti-occupation activism”.
In fact the Congresswomen’s itinerary included a day two tour of “Al-Aqsa mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall and other historic sites” in the Israeli capital Jerusalem. Marshall made no effort to clarify to listeners that, as the BBC itself states, “[t]here is no independent state of Palestine today” despite Ashrawi’s repeated references to that non-existent entity.
Likewise making no effort to inform audiences of the fact that the BDS campaign promotes the so-called ‘right of return’ for millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees (which would lead to the elimination of the Jewish state and thereby deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination) Marshall went on:
Marshall: “But Israel would argue that it has a 2017 law that bars foreigners from entering the country who support a boycott of Israel and they [Ashrawi laughs] would argue that that is what these two Congresswomen have been doing.”
Israel of course does not have to “argue” that Omar and Tlaib support the BDS campaign: they have made that quite clear themselves.
Listeners next heard a series of plainly ridiculous claims from Ashrawi concerning Israel and the 2017 amendment to the ‘Entry to Israel law’ which enables Israel to deny entry to people who advocate for a campaign that the BBC serially refuses to accurately portray to its audiences.
Suggesting that Israel is Violating U.S. Law
Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian-American journalist, was interviewed on NPR to explain why the requirement for Tlaib not to promote BDS on her trip to Israel was problematic. His charge against Israel was both unchallenged and absurd:
And I think the – really, the commitment not to promote something really is the problem because it violates the First Amendment in the U.S. and also violates the immunity of members of Parliament around the world have, that they can say anything they want because they are members of a legislative council.
Kuttab might not have looked at a map recently, but Israel is not an American state. It’s a sovereign country that has its own rules of entry, which include barring those who seek to foment unrest and undermine the Jewish state. As a sovereign state, it is not bound by any amendment to the U.S. constitution; and there is no international law that ensures members of Parliament “immunity” from visa restrictions and entry requirements — in the same way Israel’s laws don’t force the U.S. or any other democratic country to grant entry to foreigners, whether members of parliament or otherwise, whom it deems undesirable.
And, in fact, Section 212 (a) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act declares would-be visitors inadmissable to the U.S. on various grounds, including:
those who are believed to seek entry to engage in any activity to violate any law of the U.S. relating to espionage or sabotage or any other unlawful activity or any activity which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence or other unlawful means and those whose entry would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.
Foreign diplomats and members of parliament banned from the U.S. include Narenda Modi, then-Chief Minister of India’s Gujarat state and currently India’s prime minister, and Israeli Member of Knesset Michael Ben Arieh.
As for Miftah, NGO Monitor offers disturbing details: “On March 27, 2013 MIFTAH, a Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1998 by Hanan Ashrawi (Chair of MIFTAH’s Board of Directors), published an article by Nawaf al-Zaru that repeated the antisemitic blood libel. He wrote, ‘Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’… ?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals…?! Much of the historical stories and tales about Jewish blood rituals in Europe are based on real rituals and are not false as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …’”
CAMERA highlighted Miftah’s troubling history to staff at POLITICO, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, USA Today and elsewhere, but they failed to include it in their reports.
Put simply: two members of Congress planned a trip sponsored by an NGO that traffics in antisemitism, which had as its basis the denial of Israel’s right to exist, and which included meeting with a group with terror links. And yet, The Washington Post, as well as other outlets like POLITICO, The Hill, and USA Today, couldn’t be troubled to report the full story.
Nor did any of the above outlets report that both Reps. Omar and Tlaib “posted a cartoon drawn by an anti-Semitic cartoonist who has drawn criticizing for mocking victims of the Holocaust to their Instagram stories.” The cartoon was drawn by Carlos Latuff, the runner-up in Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, and was shared by the Congresswomen on Aug. 17, 2019—while coverage of their attempted trip was ongoing (“Tlaib, Omar Share Anti-Semitic Cartoonist’s Drawing,” Washington Free Beacon, Aug. 18, 2019).
In contrast to The Post’s decision to ignore both the details about the Congresswomen’s planned trip and their promotion of antisemitic material, they did find the time to do a long, puff-piece interview with Rep. Tlaib’s grandmother (“Meet Rashida Tlaib’s grandma,” The Washington Post, Aug. 16, 2019).
Numerous recent studies have found that trust in the media is at an all time low. It’s little wonder why.
The liberal comic also chastized Leftists for chasing conservatives out of restaurants, And, most amazingly given our tribal times, he routinely invites smart conservatives like Buck Sexton onto his show.
And, in almost every case, Maher is virtually alone in fighting these battles. How many late night hosts rallied to Maher’s side in these high profile cases? Will Trevor Noah excoriate Tlaib’s latest dose of victimhood?
Has Colbert or Kimmel let loose on PC scolds? Did they defend fellow liberal comic Sarah Silverman, for example, after she revealed she lost a movie gig for a decade-old blackface sketch (for which she profusely apologized for over and again)?
Maher isn’t trying to side with Team Trump. He loathes the current Commander in Chief as well as his Republican allies. The comic sees the big picture, though. A party that embraces speech codes, adores Israel haters and cheers people being chased out of restaurants enters the 2020 Presidential race with a disadvantage.
He simply wants to see his team win at the ballot box. So he’s throwing yellow flags around the field to prevent that from happening. He’s got a bully pulpit to do so, courtesy of HBO.
And, most importantly, he’s right on all of the above issues. President Trump may very well use each as a wedge issue, nudging undecideds to his side during the 2020 campaign cycle.
Maher’s fellow liberals ignore him at their own peril. That’s assuming they don’t want another four years of “orange, racist” Trump
Controversial Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib responded on Monday to reports that the Palestinian Authority has banned LGBTQ activities within the West Bank, sharing a post by Al-Qaws – the Palestinian LGBTQ group that led to the ban – which listed “five ways to support” the community.
The two congresswomen were barred from visiting Israel last week for promoting a boycott of Israel.
The post by Al-Qaws condemned the PA’s decision while also blaming Israel’s “occupation of our land and bodies” as part of the issue that Palestinian members of the LGBTQ community face.
“Pretending that this act somehow balances or mitigates Israel violating the dignity & rights of Palestinians – or undermines case for defending Palestinian rights – is deplorable!” Omar tweeted earlier, in response to a post about the ban.
“LGBTQ rights are human rights and we should condemn any effort to infringe upon them. But we should also condemn any effort to equate this with the occupation or use this as a distraction.”
The US congresswoman, who has used Twitter to share numerous anti-Israel tweets as well as antisemitic tropes, had been called out by numerous people to respond to the news regarding the Palestinian Authority.
LGBTQ rights are human rights and we should condemn any effort to infringe upon them.
But we should also condemn any effort to equate this with the occupation or use this as a distraction.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 19, 2019
In the wake the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to ban LGBTQ activities in the West Bank, Vice President Mike Pence has announced the Trump administration is rethinking its pro-Israel position.
“For the longest time, I thought the Palestinians were just some god-forsaken, backwater savages! But after this, I think we’ve got to reconsider. I’ve been to Tel Aviv and let me tell you, the amount of indecent, sinful activity I saw there made me question the $38 billion dollars of military aid. But given Israel’s special role in the coming of Jesu– I mean U.S. foreign policy, I held steady.”
One aide explained that upon hearing about the PA’s LGBTQ ban and how Hamas dealt with homosexuality, Pence was considering handing over most Israeli territory to the radical terrorist organization in recognition of their willingness to “uphold family values.” Pence’s plan, however, would guarantee Jews regain control over the entirety of Jerusalem so as to meet the religious stipulations necessary for the return of Jesus Christ.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.