It's been decided. Israel will not allow U.S. congressional representative Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter the country. This is after Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer stated that they WOULD be allowed.
What changed is Donald Trump has let it be known he wants Israel to ban Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel. And Israel, obediently and subserviently, failing to act like an independent nation of integrity, bowed to malignant narcissist psychopath Trump's whim.
— dilekyeliz💙💛yedek hesap (@yelizdilekk) August 15, 2019
Now, the fact is that Israel passed a law that BDS supporters would not be allowed to enter Israel. But Israel has enforced that policy very unevenly. So, when Rep. Stenny Hoyer was in Israel recently, the Jerusalem Post article reports Hoyer said,
"Israel's confidence - as expressed by Mr. Dermer in having any member of Congress who wants to come to Israel, have the opportunity to come to Israel and have access and to see what all these members have seen and will see - is appropriate," And this was backed by Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy from California.
David Brinn, managing editor for the Jerusalem Post, writes," The decision ultimately made by the government Thursday to apparently ban the congresswomen from entering Israel is shortsighted and deeply flawed. A quashed trip is only going to further deepen the divide between Democrats and Israel moving moderate Democrats away from a positive view of the country and raise the specter that Israel is behaving in something less than a democratic fashion."
So now, Israel has not only embarassed Hoyer, but also McCarthy.
It all comes down to leadership. My criticism of Israel, as an American Jew, has been of their policies and actions. This latest decision will surely solidify most non-Orthodox American Jews' negative attitude towards Israel.
I hope that Stenny Hoyer and the Democrats in Congress hold to their support of Omar and Tlaib in the face of Israel, and, in solidarity, refust to go to Israel until any member of congress is allowed to go.
That is a highly unrealistic hope, given that congress has already passed a law that violates First Amendment, freedom of speech rights in its treatment of advocacy for BDS. But change doesn't happen without hope. It will be interesting to see just how congressional leadership does handle it.
For starters, I just received this press release from Rep. Gerald Nadler, who represents the very Jewish New York's 10th Congressional District, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn:""It is utterly egregious for the Israeli government to deny entry to two sitting members of the United States Congress. The close relationship enjoyed by the United States and Israel should extend to all its government representatives, regardless of their views on specific issues or policies. This decision undermines the ability for our two allied countries to have the frank, open and, at times, difficult discussions that we must have in order to ensure Israel remains a secure and democratic nation.
"I strongly condemn this decision and urge the Israeli government to allow entry to these Congresswomen and welcome them in the respectful, dignified manner to which they are entitled as official representatives of the United States."
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