President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are collaborating in excluding the only two Muslim Congresswomen from visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories it controls.
Netanyahu’s pretext is that Tlaib and Omar support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and its West Bank settlement. Trump tweets without proof that the two representatives “hate Israel and all Jewish people” and that Israel would show great weakness if it allowed Rep. Omar and Tlaib to visit.”
Rep. Tlaib was then offered a “humanitarian” exemption to visit her 90-year old grandmother on the West Bank. After due deliberation, Rep. Tlaib then courageously chose not to accept the humiliating condition of public silence that would be imposed on her if she accepted.
Both Presidents Trump and Netanyahu are feeding red meat to their rightwing, nativist and racist bases. Otherwise it is difficult to comprehend why they fear the voices and reports back of two freshman Congresspersons. The bloated $3.8 billion annual appropriation for the military of an already highly armed and economically prosperous Israel sails through Congress with only scattered opposition. A combined delegation of Congresspersons [31 Republicans and 41 Democrats, 32 of whom were freshmen] just returned from their tour of Israel sponsored by AIPAC. Delegation leaders Hoyer (D) and McCarthy (R) competed in proclaiming their full adherence to Israeli security, denounced BDS and made no reference to the plight of Palestinians. Yet two Congresspersons have to be silenced to prevent an open debate on Israel, Palestine and BDS in the USA.
The current attacks on two Muslim-American Congresspersons form part of astrategy to paralyze and divide any effective form of opposition, in particular within the current Democratic Party apparatus that fears revisiting its uncritical and one-sided support for Israel. DSA condemns in the strongest terms the manipulation of global relationships to nativist ends, and urges elected representatives and candidates for office to firmly oppose ethnic repression at home and abroad.
DSA strongly supports Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as they continue to use their offices to disentangle U.S. policy from its uncritical support for Israel’s repression of Palestinians, even under the threat of personal repercussions and political reprisal.