Two members of congress, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were denied entry into Israel in August 2019 because of their work advocating for an economic war against Israel, called B.D.S. for boycott, divest and sanction. The two contend that their motives are noble in that they just seek to exercise their freedom of expression and speech to pressure Israel to improve the rights of Palestinian Arabs. In response to being rejected by Israel, they are now seeking to cut U.S. economic aid to Israel. It seems that haters of Israel can always find an excuse for B.D.S., including hurt pride.
These two congresspeople have been openly hostile to Israel for many years. The question being discussed is whether these two women and the B.D.S. movement are really about real or perceived actions of Israel OR pure antisemitism.
The Sole Jewish State.
There is only one Jewish state, a situation very dissimilar to the dozens of Christian and Muslim countries. Boycotting Israel is therefore an attack on every Jewish state. One could perhaps not be so cynical about the two Muslim women’s motives if they were targeting only one out of ten Jewish states, similar to President Trump’s temporary travel ban on 10% of the Muslim-majority countries because of their poor security controls. But these same women gave no allowance to Trump and said he was singling denying entry to Muslims in a “hateful” assault. So, one can draw a conclusion that these women are driven by their own “hateful” ideology, persecuting 100% of the Jewish countries, not just 10 percent of them.
Relying on Prior Comments
Omar had no compunction calling out Trump’s travel ban because of the prior comments he had made about Muslims and Islam. Yet she cannot understand people viewing her attacks on Israel through the prism of her repeated negative comments about Jews. She says that “Islamophobia and antisemitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin,” but the reality is people see her and Trump as two similar bigoted talking heads.
The B.D.S. movement which Tlaib proudly supports, makes wildly false and inflammatory claims about Israel. It openly uses terms like “apartheid,” “settler colonialism” and “ethnic cleansing” in vile libels which not only have no basis in fact, but are incendiary comments designed to rile up people to actively attack the Jewish state.
- Israel Welcomes non-Jews While the Muslim Countries Practice Antisemitism
The “ethnic cleansing” attack on Israel is an inversion of facts. At Israel’s founding it welcomed 160,000 non-Jews as citizens, while at the same time, Jordan expelled every Jew from the land it seized from Israel and specifically denied any Jew citizenship. Fellow Arab and Muslim countries followed suit and evicted one million Jews between the 1930’s and 1960’s. Today, there are 100 times the number of Arabs living inside Israel as there are Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries. Arabs in Israel are thriving. where their numbers are growing faster than the organic population of any neighboring Arab country.
- Israeli Arabs like the Jewish State
When Israel passed its Nation-State Law, many supporters of the B.D.S. movement claimed that it showed Israel to be a racist country. However, they ignored the polls which showed that Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly support the law, even more than Israeli Jews!
- Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than Europe
Israel permits people to wear hijabs and burqas, to build churches, mosques and minarets, to have halal food, perform circumcisions and use Sharia courts. Those are freedoms you cannot find in France, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Latvia or Turkey, to name a few countries.
- Israel is the most liberal country in MENA
The simple fact is that Israel is an open liberal democracy, with rights and protections for all people. There are Arabs in the Israeli parliament, the Supreme Court and the army. Muslims are allowed to pray at Judaism’s holiest site and can become the prime minister in the country. Those liberties are in sharp contrast to its Arab Muslim neighbors.
- Israel is the Reestablishment of Jewish Sovereignty
The B.D.S. claim of “colonialism” is not just a lie but antisemitic. It deliberately erases the 3,300 years of Jewish history in the land and ignores Judaism’s focus of prayer and pilgrimage to Jerusalem for millenia. It is a part of a new type of repulsive “replacement theology” in which Arabs have transformed themselves into the indigenous people in the holy land and Jews are recent invaders.
B.D.S.’s Goal is the Destruction of Israel
The founder of the B.D.S. movement, Omar Barghouti, states very clearly that his movement seeks to end the Jewish State in any configuration or size, “most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” Even long-time critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein said that the supporters of B.D.S. “don’t want Israel [to exist].”
B.D.S. Tactics are Attacks, not Protests
The tactics deployed by the B.D.S. movement are through economic and cultural warfare. Omar and Tlaib saying that they are just expressing their opinions is a far cry from reality. The movement wants universities, companies and countries to stop investing in Israel, from conducting any commerce, collaboration or trade, and to sanction it often and repeatedly. A small country like Israel would be crippled without its export/import industry.
Democratic Socialists Embrace B.D.S.
Tlaib and Omar have common cause with the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialists which have also embraced B.D.S. In doing so, they are mainstreaming the falsehoods and vilification of Israel and advancing an economic war against the Jewish State.
Pressuring Only the Jewish State in the Dispute
The two members of Congress and the B.D.S. movement claim they are seeking a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Arab conflict, but are only attacking one party, not attempting to bring them together.
- Nominally about a Dispute or a Civil War
The Arabs have been fighting with the Jews over the control of the land for 100 years in a long-simmering civil war. It has still not ended as neither side has claimed victory nor defeat, leaving millions of Arabs stateless. Progressive empathy is naturally drawn to the weaker party, without consideration of who is actually right or whether the fault of the terrible situation lies at the leadership of the weaker party. The alt-left and Muslim extremists either ignore or celebrate the acting-president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas calling for millions of fighters to descend on Jerusalem (1:03) and the Hamas Charter which calls for the killing of Jews and refusing to ever negotiate a peace with Israel.
- Palestinians Have No Ability to Negotiate
The leader of the PA’s four-year term in office ran out over a decade ago. He has no mandate to negotiate, and polls show that the Palestinians want him to resign. He also does not control Gaza, and has not been able to govern a Palestinian parliament which has 58% of the members belonging to Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization. Abbas has never shown a compromise in his negotiations with Israel and has never been able to control Hamas. Therefore, there is no logic for Israel to negotiate with a straw man who cannot deliver, and it is unfair to punish Israel for failing to reach an agreement with such counter-party.
Omar and Tlaib Refuse Visit to Israel and Schedule Visit to “Palestine”
Over forty Democratic members of Congress went to Israel in the beginning of August and met with Israelis and Palestinian Arabs in a well organized trip. But Omar and Tlaib boycotted the trip and instead decided to go on a trip to the State of “Palestine,” even though the United States does not recognize such a country. Their agenda was organized by Miftah, a group which has excused the killing of Israeli civilians.
The B.D.S. movement is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State and the nullification of Jewish history and Jewish rights, which is why the Israeli government banned entry for people affiliated with the movement. It is manifestation of Palestineism which believes the dignity of Palestinians is predicated on erasing the dignity of Jews. Omar and Tlaib are its current ugly face, but it’s in the hearts and minds of other Democratic Socialists.
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