[Middle East News]
Congressional Black Caucus: “The Israeli government should immediately reverse this shortsighted decision to deny Members of Congress entry into Israel. Allies are supposed to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Congressional Black Caucus, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have both denounced Israel’s decision to deny Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib entry into Israel for a visit.
Yesterday, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) released the following statement condemning the Israeli government’s decision to deny entry into Israel to Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
“The Israeli government should immediately reverse this shortsighted decision to deny Members of Congress entry into Israel. Allies are supposed to be able to disagree without being disagreeable,” said Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the CBC. “This decision does nothing to further constructive dialogue between the United States and Israel, and in fact, makes it harder to find common ground on issues in our mutual interests. Even more shameful, is the fact that the President of the United States has encouraged these actions which further demonstrates his inability to responsibly conduct foreign policy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke out against Israel’s decision saying:
“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 alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any Member of Congress into Israel.’ This is a sad reversal and is deeply disappointing. I pray that the Government of Israel will reverse that denial.
“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel. The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”
This morning, the State of Israel said they would allow Rep. Tlaib to enter Israel (with severe restrictions) to see her 90-year-old Palestinian grandmother. Tlaib refused and explained her thinking in a series of tweets saying, “When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions.
“I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies. 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.
Tlaib’s grandmother told the Washington Post, “I am proud of her. Who wouldn’t be proud of a granddaughter like that? I love her and am so proud of her.”