UPDATE: Tlaib now says she will not visit her aging grandmother in Israel because she is unable to agree to Israel’s condition she not agitate and foment discord.
Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she 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. https://t.co/z5t5j3qk4H
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 16, 2019
After Israel blocked Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting “Palestine,” the Israeli government agreed to let Tlaib into the country to visit her grandmother who lives in Israel’s West Bank. Omar and Tlaib were denied entry into Israel because of their support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Sanction, Divest movement and their questionable itinerary. Israeli law allows BDS supporters be banned from entering the country.
“[T]he itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it,” the prime minister wrote in a statement published Thursday. “In addition, the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel.”
“Therefore, the minister of interior has decided not to allow their visit, and I, as prime minister, support his decision,” Netanyahu continued.
Tlaib sent a letter to the Israeli government on Thursday asking for permission to visit family for humanitarian reasons. The request for Tlaib’s visit was granted with certain restrictions.
“Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided on Friday to approve the entry of US Congresswoman Rashida Talib on a humanitarian visit of her 90-year-old grandmother,” the statement reads. “Congresswoman Talib sent a letter to Minister Deri tonight pledging to accept Israel’s demands, respecting the restrictions imposed on her during the visit, and promising not to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit. In light of this, and in accordance with his commitment yesterday, Minister Deri decided to allow her entry into Israel and expressed hope that her commitment and visit would indeed be for humanitarian purposes only.”
Omar is still banned from visiting.
Predictably, the democrats and the corporate media were hysterical over Israel’s decision. Senator Bernie Sanders said Israel’s decision showed“enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy.” Senator Elizabeth Warren lamented “Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views. This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow
@IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.” The New York Times described the move as “inflammatory.”
David Harsanyi at The Federalist, astutely points out the policy of refusing foreigners entry into a sovereign country is a flexible one for the left.
Not that we need theoretical examples. How many Democrats were insulted when the speaker of the British House of Commons told the elected president of the United States he was not welcome to address them? Would any sane person claim Britain was stifling debate by doing so?
In 2012, the Obama administration denied a visa to Michael Ben-Ari, a member of the hard-right Israeli Kach party. Ben-Ari is no more radical than Tlaib or Omar. I don’t remember widespread angst about the state of American democracy. Surely we were secure enough in our beliefs to handle his presence, right?
And when the U.S. government refused to give Narendra Modi — now the prime minister of India, but at the time the chief elected official in the state of Gujarat — a visa, no one seemed to think we were slapping India in the face. We relied on a 1998 law that stated foreign officials who exhibit “severe violations of religious freedom” were ineligible for visas.
President Trump supported Israel’s decision, tweeting: “Well, I’m only involved from the standpoint of they are very anti-Jewish and they’re very anti-Israel,” Trump said before departing New Jersey for New Hampshire. “I think it’s disgraceful, the things they said. … What they’ve said about Israel and Jewish people is a horrible thing, and they’ve become the face of the Democrats Party.”
“I can’t imagine why Israel would let them in,” he added.