This past week, President Donald Trump proved successful in getting some of his hate exported. After he urged them to do so, the Israeli government announced that U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) would both be barred from entering the country as part of an official trip previously planned for this weekend. Now, Democrats running in the 2020 presidential race have jumped into the fray and bluntly blasted both Israel for making the decision and Trump for encouraging it. Current Israeli law allows for their government to ban individuals from entering their country who support the so-called Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions or BDS protest movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
In response to their latest application of that law, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called the decision “a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy,” while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren denounced the ban on Tlaib and Omar as “a shameful, unprecedented move.”
‘Banning Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel and Palestine is a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy. The Israeli government should reverse this decision and allow them in.’
Banning Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel and Palestine is a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy. The Israeli government should reverse this decision and allow them in. https://t.co/mvdcmnFBKU
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 15, 2019
‘Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views. This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.’
On the domestic front, Trump has routinely sparred with these two Congresswomen in particular. Along with colleagues of theirs including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), he’s insisted that they should “go back where they came from” because they’re supposedly incapable of showing love to the United States. To be clear, however, opposition to the Trump agenda is not synonymous with anti-patriotism — no matter how many times Trump bizarrely hugs American flags on stages where he’s set to give speeches. That’s just egomania to declare otherwise.
Besides Sanders and Warren, other 2020 Democratic presidential contenders also weighed in on the new travel ban Israel has implemented. Former Obama administration official Julián Castro asserted that the ban was meant “just to appease President Trump’s fragile ego” and the “appalling” decision should be reversed. Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke asserted that Trump shows “great weakness every single day” when he “attack[s] women of color… degrade[s] the office of the president, and when [he asks] our allies to stoop to [his] level.”
As supposed justification for their ban, Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely claimed that Omar and Tlaib “deny our right to exist in this world to enter,” which — it should go without saying — is a melodramatic exaggeration of the two Congresswomen’s positions.
Just like in the case of anti-Trump behavior not constituting some kind of nefarious anti-American conspiracy, opposition to Israeli government policy does not equate with some kind of secret anti-Semitism. It just doesn’t — although the claim otherwise from the Israelis mirrors Trump’s own rhetoric. Repeatedly, he’s whined that Democrats have supposedly been anti-Semitic. Just this past Thursday, after Israel’s ban announcement, he claimed on Twitter that the two targeted Congresswomen “HATE Israel” — as if capital letters mean he must be right.
Check out Twitter’s response…
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