Maybe, someone should take away Donald Trump megaphone, because it gives him an unfair advantage. Any president’s words carry a great deal of weight. Add to that, this president’s stream of consciousness tweeting, and his words become weapons. Then, all Trump has to do is sit back and wait for the explosion.
POTUS pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to block both Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from entering Israel next week. A Palestinian-led nonprofit financed their trip to the country.
Traditionally, freshman members of Congress travel to Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib has family, to get a deeper understanding of the country and its issues. About 70 Democrats and Republicans made the week-long journey. Omar and Tlaib planned on traveling with the nonprofit until Netanyahu ditched their plans.
The representatives are the first Muslim women to ever be elected to Congress. The nonprofit supporting them on this trip, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a movement. According to its website, it supports:
‘[E]nding international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.’
Trump’s “dramatic and unprecedented move” caused a rapid-fire response from Democrats. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a formal statement. It began with this comment:
‘Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib & Omar is beneath the dignity of the great State of #Israel. @realDonaldTrump‘s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance & disrespect, & beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.’
Vox reported on Pelosi’s statement as she continued:
‘As one who loves Israel, I am deeply saddened by the news that Israel has decided to prevent Members of Congress from entering the country. Last month, Israeli Ambassador Dermer stated that “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliances between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any Member of Congress into Israel. That is a sad reversal and is deeply disappointing. I pray that the Government of Israel will reverse that denial.’
Trump’s campaign mantra was “send her back,” after the president made that terrible declaration about the women of color. Both of them are U.S. citizens. Tlaib was born here and Omar’s family fled the violence of Somalia terrible war when she was just 12-years-old.
Pelosi stomped down on that chant and halted it. Omar was grateful for the support and this:
‘They said “send her back” but Speaker @SpeakerPelosi didn’t just make arrangements to send me back, she went back with me So grateful for the honor to return to Mother Africa with the @TheBlackCaucus and commemorate The Year of Return!’
Omar released a statement about Israel’s decision to block her and Tlaib from the country, calling it “an affront:”
Tlaib sent out this touching tweet about her grandmother:
‘This woman right here is my sity. She deserves to live in peace & with human dignity. I am who I am because of her. The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness b/c the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening.’
Then, she added this statement later:
‘.@AGvaryahu I was looking forward to it & can’t thank you enough for being on the right side of history. As an American who grew up embracing justice & equality, I appreciate your courage & hope that one day my Congressional colleagues are given the opportunity to hear you.’
Another member of the self-identified “Squad,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
‘MoC are frequently asked to visit Israel to “see things for ourselves.” But Netanyahu choosing to ban the only 2 Muslim women in Congress from entering tells the US that only *some* Americans are welcome to Israel, not all. Trump is exporting his bigotry &making matters worse.’
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said:
‘Denying entry to members of the United States Congress is a sign of weakness, not strength. It will only hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship and support for Israel in America.
‘No democratic society should fear an open debate. Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.’