Aug. 19, 2019
- Omar, Tlaib Are Enemies of the Jewish State – Brooke Goldstein
Israel was wise to deny entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. These are not good-faith actors, earnestly seeking to visit the Holy Land and learn about its people, history and culture. If their intention was to truly see the facts on the ground for what they are, they could have easily joined 72 of their fellow House members who visited Israel last week. But the pair ruled this out, instead choosing to plan their own trip to advance their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic political agenda.
The two congresswomen have First Amendment rights – as do all American citizens – to express their beliefs. But Israel, as a sovereign nation, also has every right to decide who can and cannot enter its borders and for what purpose. No country on Earth would allow its sworn enemies to use its territory as a base from which to continue an insidious campaign of delegitimization. The writer is executive director of The Lawfare Project, which provides pro bono legal services to protect the civil and human rights of the Jewish people worldwide. (Fox News)
- I argued for allowing Tlaib and Omar into Israel, despite the media circus and bad PR that they would manufacture, because we should not bar members of the U.S. Congress, and because this would probably be worse on the propaganda front. In my view, the risks of refusing entry to Members of Congress were still greater than the risks posed by their political theater.
- Yet much of American punditry unleashed a flood of condemnations of the Israeli move entirely devoid of nuance. The portrayal of Netanyahu as merely following Trump’s lead (or demand) are simplistic in the extreme, involving one-dimensional stick figures in a reality that is far more complex.
- I realize that nuanced argument and political realism are in short supply in the era of ideological polarization and zero-sum politics (we have truth; everyone else is evil). But I will continue to hope that eventually, nuanced realism will return to favor, particularly on Israel.
The writer is Professor of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and president of NGO Monitor.
- According to Alan Baker, former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Israel’s decisions to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel and then permitting entry for Rep. Tlaib to enter the country for a family visit were made independently and were not related to President Trump’s tweets.
- Baker also rubbished the claim that the incident could cause significant damage to Israel’s relations with the U.S. It is the “congresswomen that, for the past few years, have been the cause and source of the damage to relations with Israel,” Baker said.
- Referring to the potential consequences of Israel’s decision, Baker presumed that “it’ll pass in due course” when the critics “realize that Israel is still a vital ally of the U.S. and the…congresswomen orchestrated the whole event as a means of trying to harm Israel.”