DISCUSSION: Tlaib and Israel dispute

Michigan U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) said Friday morning she will not travel to Palestine to visit her grandmother.

On Thursday, Israel had announced it was barring Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from entry.

  • Watch the special discussion held Friday morning above.

Here are the key points:

Reps. Omar And Tlaib Barred From Visiting Israel After Trump Supports A Ban [article]

  • On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. From visiting the country and Palestinian territories this weekend.
  • The move came after a public statement from President Trump via Twitter :
    • It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds…They are a disgrace!
  • Tlaib and Omar have been vocal critics of the Israeli government and Trump’s support of Netanyahu.

Is B.D.S. Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign [article]

  • Tlaib and Omar are two of the most vocal backers of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, whose stated goal is to put economic and political pressure on Israel to protect the rights of Palestinians.
  • The movement’s supporters are routinely accused of antisemitism.
  • It calls for countries, businesses and universities to sever ties with Israel unless three demands are met:
    • Ending its occupation of all land captured in 1967 and dismantling the wall and fence that separate Israel from much of the West Bank.
    • Granting “full equality” to Palestinian citizens of Israel.
    • Assuring the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to the homes and properties from which they or their ancestors were displaced.
  • Opponents believe the movement’s real goal is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib cancels Israel trip due to 'oppressive conditions' [article]

  • Overnight on Friday, Tlaib reapplied to visit Israel, citing the need to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank.
  • Tlaib’s visit was approved.
  • Friday morning, Tlaib announced she would not be visiting despite the approval, due to “oppressive conditions.”
    • “In my attempt to visit Palestine, I’ve experienced the same racist treatment that many Palestinian-Americans endure when encountering the Israeli government…I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart.”

Politicians respond

  • The decision was met with universal condemnation from Democrats and a handful of Republicans including Sens. Marco Rubio, Fla., and Susan Collins, Maine.
  • Other Republicans including Sens. Lindsey Graham, S.C., and Rick Scott, Fla., have defended the decision.
  • Bernie Sanders: It is disgusting that a bigot like Trump is attacking @RashidaTlaib and @IlhanMN in this way. Opposing Netanyahu's policies is not “hating the Jewish people.” We must stand together against those who promote hatred and racism in Israel, Palestine, the U.S. and everywhere.
  • Nancy Pelosi: Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib & Omar is beneath the dignity of the great State of #Israel. @realDonaldTrump's statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance & disrespect, & beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.
  • Elizabeth Warren: 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.
  • Marco Rubio: I disagree 100% with Reps. Tlaib & Omar on #Israel & am the author of the #AntiBDS bill we passed in the Senate But denying them entry into #Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state.

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