After Israel announced on Thursday that Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) were barred from entry into the country, the verbal equivalent of World War III started.
Waves of criticisms and condemnations rolled in, mostly from Democrats.
“It is disgusting that a bigot like Trump is attacking @RashidaTlaib and @IlhanMN in this way,” tweeted presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) in response to a tweet from Trump opposing the two Congresswomen’s plan to visit Israel.
“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,” Sanders concluded.
Another candidate for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), sent out a tweet stating that “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.”
What neither Warren, Sanders nor any of the other Democratic critics will acknowledge is that Israel’s decision wasn’t about barring Tlaib and Omar because of mere policy and political disagreements. It was about the two women’s support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, better known as “BDS.”
“The itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in a tweet explaining his country’s decision to bar the congresswomen from entry.
The BDS website states that they are a “Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality,” but in the United States the movement has been condemned as anti-Semitic by political leaders in both parties in words as well as in actions.
In June, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. That resolution did not mention the BDS movement by name, but it did reference “campaigns to boycott” as a form of anti-Semitism. In July, the House overwhelmingly approved an anti-BDS resolution 398-17.
There are legitimate reasons to oppose BDS, which you don’t hear much about from the mainstream media. For example, the founders of the movement have refused to distance themselves from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which supports the extermination of all Jews. BDS founders also do not support the existence of a Jewish state.
In 2017, Israel passed a law that bars entry into the country from any person who expresses support for BDS. Tlaib and Omar both have not only enthusiastically supported the movement, but just a few weeks ago, Omar pushed for a House resolution that would have effectively sanctioned it, though BDS itself was not specifically mentioned in the resolution.
What was mentioned in it was appalling. In it, Omar equated support for boycotting Israel to the Boston Tea Party, and the 1930s and 1940s boycotts of Nazi Germany.
Tlaib was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.
Also not widely mentioned in the mainstream media is that Omar’s and Tlaib’s trip was sponsored by Miftah, an organization that has published anti-Semitic pieces on their website and which has praised terrorists who have murdered Israelis.
The Washington Post benignly described Miftah as “a nonprofit organization headed by Palestinian lawmaker and longtime peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi.”
Liberal comedian/TV talk show host Bill Maher discussed the BDS movement on his HBO show Friday night in the context of Israel’s barring of Tlaib and Omar.
He quoted the movement’s founder Omar Barghouti, who once said, “No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
“So that’s where that comes from, this movement. Someone who doesn’t even want a Jewish state at all,” Maher stated during the segment. “Somehow this side never gets represented in the American media. It’s very odd.”
Very odd indeed.
Stacey Matthews is a veteran blogger who has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to Red State and Legal Insurrection.