The Democratic Party is further fractured Thursday after Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), both outspoken anti-Semites, were barred by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from visiting Israel.
Support for Israel has been one of the few bipartisan issues upon which Republicans and Democrats have nearly always historically agreed. But that bipartisanship is not so strong since the young freshman Congresswomen have come out swinging against Israel, lobbying in favor of the BDS movement against America’s Middle Eastern ally. Now, the party is scrambling to respond.
It is walking a fine line: attempting not to criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic, while not trampling on members of its own party. The overall message from the party appears to be that Israel is showing “weakness” by barring the Congresswomen from visiting.
“The decision of the Israeli government to deny entry to Israel by two Members of Congress is outrageous, regardless of their itinerary or their views,” House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement. “This action is contrary to the statement and assurances to me by Israel’s ambassador to the United States that ‘out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any Member of Congress into Israel.” That representation was not true.”
According to Axios, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the move a “sign of weakness” that “hurts may of Israel’s supporters in the United States.”
That report also noted that several presidential candidates, including former vice president Joe Biden criticized Israel for the decision.
“Joe Biden, the most pro-Israel candidate and arguably the most pro-Israel Democrat, said: ‘No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas—even ideas they strongly object to. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris also issued critical statements,” the report said.
That is a rich statement coming from a Democrat, who has benefitted from conservatives being silenced, or labeled as bigots and racists and shunned from the public square, simply for holding ordinary conservative viewpoints.
Pro-Isreal lobbying group AIPAC took to Twitter to make a fence-sitting statement, criticizing both the anti-Semitic Congresswomen and Israel.
“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC said.
Upon further review of Omar and Tlaib’s itinerary, it turns out that they weren’t actually planning to visit Israel at all, but rather what they called “Palestine”, for which they have also been criticized.
The Washington Post said they planned to visit East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes have been on the rise in America recently, as the two prominent Muslim Congresswomen have stoked racial hatred against Jewish people. Omar and Tlaib have both been engulfed in anti-Semitism scandals during their time as elected members of Congress and have advocated for the elimination of Israel.
Most recently, Omar called the Palestinian people “non-violent” – right around the time a HAMAS leader called for the beheading of all Jews. HAMAS is a Palestinian terror organization that controls Gaza. Omar also supported Jihad against President Donald J. Trump, and introduced legislation to support the BDS movement. She once Tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
For her part, Tlaib wrapped herself in a Palestinian flag immediately after she was elected to the U.S. Congress and refused to condemn HAMAS. The pair, along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have been dubbed the “HAMAS Caucus” by Laura Loomer, a nickname later used by Donald Trump Jr.
The State Department even changed the definition of “anti-Semitism” in response to Omar’s rhetoric.
The Democratic Party has backed itself into a corner. It can either support its two young jihadist Congresswomen who have show their hatred for Israel and Jewish people, or it can condemn anti-Semitism.