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#MyPalestinianSitty and Rashida Tlaib's Game of Human Shields

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

It is phenomenally rare for a politician to be so willing to place their cards on the table for all to see. Typically, those in the political sphere are masters of deception, distraction, and linguistic swordplay. Most would argue that we have a greater chance of drawing blood from a stone than prying an even half-hearted straight answer from our class of elected leaders.

However, this is a trend which certain members of the radical wing of the Democratic Party are unintentionally bucking. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have been at the center of an ongoing feud surrounding their unabashed hatred of Israel and continual use of anti-Semitic tropes. For those rooted in reality, it would seem that Omar and Tlaib’s actions after their most recent Israel-related saga would have fully uncovered the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that is the anti-Semitic cancer ravaging some parts of the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, we do not share the same reality with many of their ideological compatriots, meaning that instead of being undone by their naive honesty, they are being rewarded for it.

This latest saga began when Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib spurned the opportunity to visit Israel as part of a broader, bipartisan congressional delegation. They decided instead on an independent visit titled “U.S. Congressional Delegation to Palestine”, sponsored and organized by Miftah, an anti-Semitic group that “praised Palestinian terrorists and claims Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”

While the mainstream media are reliably willing to dilute the anti-Semitic reality of many pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic groups, Israel has a standing policy of refusing admittance to anyone who supports the BDS movement, which aims to destroy the State of Israel through economic assault. Not only does the BDS movement have anti-Semitism sewn into its very fabric, the inconsistent and targeted criticism of the world’s only Jewish state is indicative of the vicious double standard that has been applied to the Jewish people for centuries. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu (arguably after some pressure from President Trump) decided to bar entry to Omar and Tlaib on the grounds of their support for BDS, which raised some questions from both pro- and anti-Israel advocates. Had they the thinnest shred of political acumen, Omar and Tlaib could have enjoyed some level of protection by retreating to hide behind their familiar disingenuous claim of bigoted victimization.

However, to the almost certain dismay of every vaguely-strategic anti-Israel advocate, Rashida Tlaib applied a strategy which is the political equivalent of hitting oneself in the face. Seeming to accept the Israeli government’s policy on barring entry to supporters of the BDS movement, Rashida Tlaib penned a letter to Interior Minister Arye Deri asking for permission to enter Israel so that she may “visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s,” and that this “could be my last opportunity to see her.” She concluded by agreeing not to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit.

In a display of Israel’s violent and imperialistic cruelty, her request was immediately granted. In a neck-breaking pivot, Tlaib then announced that she would not visit Israel, citing the “oppressive conditions” placed on her trip.

With this almost laughable act, Rashida Tlaib has placed all of her cards on the table. She was willing to use her supposedly-beloved grandmother as a political pawn in her obsessive desire to demonize the State of Israel. When Israel gave her permission to visit, they effectively called her bluff. 

Subsequently, by refusing to visit her grandmother while describing Israel’s conditions - that she had privately agreed to - as “oppressive,” Tlaib proved that her objectives were deeply cynical from the start, while also forfeiting her “last opportunity” to see her darling grandmother in a farcical attempt to hide her own idiocy. Somewhat ironically, her willingness to use family members as disposable fodder is a tactic that has been applied by every Palestinian terrorist organization.

The problem that remains is that, even in the face of undeniable cynicism rooted in unwavering anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bigotry, the cards that are now on the table are being interpreted differently. For those who have any understanding of Israel’s history, it is clear that the politically-worthless cards shown by Rashida Tlaib expose her to be an ideological fraudster. 

However, because of the widespread ignorance of Israel within the Left being channeled by a determinedly deceptive collection of anti-Israel organizations, many do not see her cards as worthless. Indeed, Rashida Tlaib has even been applauded for her so-called “bravery” in the face of an “oppressive regime.” This absurdity is perfectly demonstrated by the fact that the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty went viral on social media, implying that photographs of elderly Palestinian women are all that are needed to justify the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have both shown us their true nature on multiple occasions, but until we agree on the game we are playing, their hateful ineptitude will continue to be rewarded. 

After all, unless we’re able to agree to play the same game, we have no hope of winning. 

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