Israel sparked outrage August 14 when it banned two freshman Democratic congresswomen of color — Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — from entering the country. Following outcry from Democratic leaders and Palestinians, Israel granted permission for Tlaib to enter the country on “humanitarian” grounds to visit her family in the West Bank
REBECCA VILKOMERSON from Jewish Voices for Peace responded on Democracy Now
Rashida was given what was called by — on humanitarian grounds, allowed to enter really reflects how much Israel considers itself entitled to completely control the lives and all kinds of movement of all Palestinian people. She was forced to make a decision that Palestinians are often forced to make because of the way that Israel controls its borders and for decades hasn’t been letting Palestinians in.ways, this is just a continuation of ongoing Israeli policies.
Now there’s a spotlight on it because Rashida Tlaib is a U.S. congressperson. There’s a spotlight on it because it is unprecedented that a sitting president would suggest to a foreign country that a member of his own government should not be allowed into the country. And so, from an American political perspective, I think that’s very unprecedented. But from the Israeli perspective, this is a continuation of their ongoing policies of separation and apartheid and ethnic discrimination. It’s not any different than the ways — what they’ve been pursuing for decades now.
Israel has now started to ban people who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and are trying to control the political thought and the political expression of people who disagree with their policies. But again, you know, that’s based on years and years and years of that kind of ethnic and religious discrimination that they’ve been imposing.
Rashida Talaib should have the human right. She shouldn’t have to ask for a special exception to that.
I think it’s important that we focus here on the role of the Democrats, because, actually, the Democrats’ absolute inability to hold Israel accountable for any of its human rights violations is what has allowed it to continue to increase, with impunity, its repressive policies. And although the Democratic leadership made some statements in support of the two congresswomen yesterday, in reality, for months and, in fact, years now, they’ve been working against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movements, trying to pass legislation against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calling it anti-Semitic. So they have contributed to the demonization and delegitimization of these congresswoman, which resulted in this action.
I think this is a real key moment for the Democrats, because while the old guard, like Pelosi and Schumer and Hoyer, who are the — who defend Israel at all costs, the younger people, people of color, hat’s the population of people who have shifted in their positions on Israel in the last years, and is represented by people like the Squad, that there’s a real disconnect between the old-guard Democrats and the new Democrats, and that they have — you know, there needs to be some actual concrete action, that platitudes are not enough anymore.
We had Mark Pocan yesterday saying we should potentially condition aid to Israel. We’ve had Betty McCollum’s bill, which is trying to place conditions on aid that’s allowing Israel to put Palestinian children into jail. We have, you know, Representative Omar’s legislation to protect the BDS movement. These are all actual concrete actions that Democrats could take to protect their own colleagues, rather than allowing Trump and Netanyahu to set the agenda. And I think that’s what we need to look for now, is those kinds of actions.
Zionist Bill Maher
In a blog response on Mondoweiss Kay 24 put it to Bill Maher
It was heartening to see officials from both sides criticize Netanyahu’s move of doing Trump’s bidding, which has put Israel in a bad light, and also is making people in the US question Israel’s motives, and the billions dollars we keep sending them. The ONLY person who went on a meltdown against BDS, and made Israel into the VICTIM, was Israel’s comic supporter, Bill Maher
He mentioned that only one side of the conflict was presented here (the Palestinian side), and made Israel to be the long suffering victim. NO MENTION OF THE OCCUPATION, ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS, OR KIDS BEING KILLED. Maybe the US media is run and owned by Palestinians.
He is such a moron.