If you have been watching the media coverage of Israel blocking the visit of Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, or listening to the reaction of the Democratic Party leadership, you do not know the truth.
The five biggest lies you are being told are
• Israel banned the two members of Congress because of pressure from President Donald Trump.
•Omar and Tlaib wanted to visit Israel so that, as members of Congress, they would better understand what was happening there.
•This is the first time Israel or the U.S. barred a member of the other’s legislature.
•Israel reversed its position when it offered Tlaib the opportunity to visit her grandmother
•Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been favoring the Republicans over the Democrats.
In 2017 the Knesset passed an anti-BDS law that blocks foreign BDS activists from gaining entry to Israel because the anti-Semitic BDS movement explicitly calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.
President Trump’s lobbying for Israel to ban the two members of Congress had little to do with Israel’s decision to bar them. His tweet last Thursday morning calling Israel weak if it allowed the two in was posted after Israel decided to enforce its anti-BDS law.
The change in the Israeli position was made when the government saw the Omar/Tlaib trip itinerary which made it clear they would be spending their entire trip in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem — only the disputed territories, not Israel proper — and was intended to provoke hatred of the Jewish State and advance their BDS agenda.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the sponsor of the Omar/Tlaib trip was an organization called Miftah. Beyond its terrorist ties, reported by NGO Monitor, Miftah has claimed that “Jews use the blood of Christians in Jewish Passover.”
The ban was not without precedent. In 2012, the U.S. State Department barred Israeli Knesset member Michel Ben Ari from coming into the U.S. Ben Ari was considered an extremist both in the U.S. and Israel; the State Department called him a terrorist because his party followed the precepts of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
AIPAC and the American Jewish Congress quickly announced their displeasure with Israel’s action. However, as regular readers of this column in The Jewish Star know, neither of those organizations is neutral in these matters. AIPAC rebuked both the 2012 and 2016 Republican platforms because they thought they were too pro-Israel. David Harris, head of the American Jewish Congress is a huge Democratic Party supporter who held fundraisers for Barack Obama when he was running for reelection in 2012.
Democratic leaders are claiming that this is an example of Netanyahu favoring the Republicans over the Democrats purposely moving the Israeli government the Democrats. Perhaps those making such a claim hasn’t read a newspaper since 2008 when President Obama moved his Democratic Party and his country away from Israel.
In his book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren explained how the Democratic president purposely drove a wedge through the U.S./Israel relationship by abandoning 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. Immediately after his first inauguration, Obama put daylight between Israel and America.
Obama 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 insisting on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas 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.
Democrats and liberals who are angry about Russian interference in American elections ought to recall that a Democratic president interfered with an Israeli election, with the State Department helping to fund an anti-Netanyahu political operative to the tune of $350,000, according to a Senate report.
During the creation of its the 2012 platform, the Democrats took a giant step away from Israel, removing the following paragraph from their standard platform:
“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 reinstated, nor did they appear in the 2016 document.
There are plenty of more examples of the Democrats turning on Israel. Consider Obama, in one of his last actions as president, he sided with the Palestinians in a key Security Council vote.
So the Democrats have taken a giant step away from Israel — not the other way around.
In barring Omar and Tlaib, Netanyahu said, “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.”
Tlaib sent the Interior Minister a letter asking to allow her to visit her grandmother in Beit Ur al-Fouqa and promising not to engage in anti-Israel activities while she was there. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri immediately approved her request. But then Tlaib said she wasn’t coming because “silencing me … 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.”
Deri observed, “Her hatred of Israel is greater than her love for her grandmother.”
Through all the propaganda, and all the blasting of Israel’s position by the media and the politicians, there is one question that’s been ignored: “What other countries in the world would allow someone who backs a movement to destroy that country, to enter its borders to meet with other people who want to destroy the country?” The United States the bars entry of all members of the Iranian government, including its foreign minister. Why should Israel be any different?