A brief follow-up on yesterday's post, in which I explained why I thought Israel was fully justified in barring Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib from the country, even though the government strategically erred in doing so. At the very end of the piece, I quoted an Israeli official stating that Tlaib -- who is Palestinian, unlike Omar -- would be welcome to apply to visit on humanitarian grounds, to visit her family. If she sought entry in this way, vowing not to promote her BDS activism on the trip, her request would likely be considered favorably, Israel telegraphed. And so it came to pass. Tlaib shifted her tactics to focus on her burning desire to visit her elderly, ailing grandmother:
"I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa," Tlaib wrote in a letter to Deri. "This could be my last opportunity to see her," the congresswoman added. "I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit."
Permission granted, Israel replied. And then...this:
Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in--fighting against racism, oppression & injustice. https://t.co/z5t5j3qk4H— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 16, 2019
In response, Israel's Interior Minister marveled, "I authorized this humanitarian trip, but it turns out that it was a provocation to embarrass Israel. Her hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother." That just about sums it up. Her primary goal -- always -- was to embarrass and undermine the world's lone Jewish state. Her bigotry supersedes her professed love for her own flesh and blood. I called Omar and Tlaib "clumsy, deeply unpopular stooges," suggesting that any agitation in which they'd engage while in Israel would likely backfire and harm their own cause. Right on cue, Tlaib managed to turn a partial PR victory into a revealing double defeat in less than 24 hours. Israel is fortunate to have such moronic adversaries and enemies:
Huge congrats to Rashida Tlaib, whose bigotry and unparalleled political skills have joined forces to explode her grievance narrative, shift the PR battle back into Israel’s favor & gratuitously shun her own grandmother??— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 16, 2019
A few additional points that have emerged from this kerfuffle: First, it is now clearer than ever before that Omar and Tlaib were interested only in cheap anti-Israel propaganda. Their itinerary listed "Palestine" as the destination, and it entailed zero meetings with any mainstream Jewish officials. They weren't interested in meeting with anyone from the Netanyahu government, or the opposition:
For example, they defined their visit destination as "Palestine" rather than "Israel," and unlike all Democratic and Republican congressmen to date, they avoided seeking any meetings with Israeli officials in both the government and the opposition. 5/9— Ruth Marks Eglash (@reglash) August 15, 2019
Furthermore, the group sponsoring their proposed trip is quite radical:
Question for reporters covering @IlhanMN @RashidaTlaib trip to "Palestine"--as their itinerary refers to all of Israel--have u noted that the organization sponsoring the trip, Miftah, has claimed that "Jews use the blood of Christians in Jewish passover"? https://t.co/KyRqim4DYQ— Sean Durns (@SeanDurns) August 15, 2019
“Miftah” supports Palestinian terrorists, such as suicide bomber Wafa Idrees who murdered 1 and injured around 150 when she blew herself up in a clothing store in Jerusalem, 2002.https://t.co/3Op6b1xF3S pic.twitter.com/AUgizR15F9— Political Bread?? (@HechtBread) August 15, 2019
Worth emphasizing again: Miftah, who were meant to be the tour guides for @RashidaTlaib and @Ilhan, published a neo-Nazi article that complained about Jewish control of the media and how it portrays white racists negatively.— Elder Of Ziyon ? (@elderofziyon) August 15, 2019
Nothing about Zionism. Purely Jew-hatred. pic.twitter.com/KK42BpF0u4
Notice how these revelations are not being exposed by mainstream media organizations, which mostly just covered the story through the lazy, Democrat-preferred 'Trump vs. Squad' prism -- with some bonus color on whether the Netanyahu government was alienating Democrats. There was virtually no scrutiny paid to the rank anti-Semitism and extremism of the organization sponsoring Omar and Tlaib's jaunt to "Palestine." Fortunately for the truth, Tlaib's latest stunt gave up the game in an unavoidable way. I'll leave you with this. Anyone care to argue with the premise of the hypothetical posed?
“If Republican Steve King were denied an entry visa into Mexico, not a single congressperson would stand up for him, not a single presidential candidate would claim that Mexico had insulted the honor of the United States...” https://t.co/25wPn287s6— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) August 15, 2019
I believe my arguments in favor of Israel granting Omar and Tlaib access still stand, though the opposite case has been repeatedly enhanced, as more information comes to light. If anything, Tlaib's embarrassing stumbles are an argument in favor of Israel reconsidering its decision. Imagine the humiliations and own-goals that bumbling, prejudiced duo would rack up during their little adventure to the free country they loathe.