Yesterday, Israel denied visas for Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, after pressure from Trump, under a law permitting the government to bar entry to advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The decision kicked off a firestorm, including false accusations by former Democrat Vice Presidential candidate and current Senator Tim Kaine that Israel had imposed a “Muslim ban”.

Previously, Israel had indicated that notwithstanding the law, the government would exercise its discretion to allow the congresswomen into the country. The stated reason by the Israelis for the change of position was that they learned the tour organized for Omar and Tlaib was focused on incitement. It included a visit to the volatile Temple Mount, where Palestinians regularly riot against visits by Jews, and which has been used for a century to incite violence on the claim that Jews are attacking the al-Aqsa Mosque, built on top of the ruins of the Jewish Temples. The claims regarding al-Aqsa inspired, among other things, the massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929, and the bloody Second Intifada, which killed a thousand Israeli civilians during 2000-2005.

The tour also did not include any meetings with Israeli officials, unlike other congressional tours, and included terror-linked activist groups and a trip to the infamous Nabi Saleh, home of the Tamimi terror-supporting clan. So this was not a trip to learn, it was a trip to incite.

That said, it’s still clear that Trump played the decisive role. Nonetheless, when announcing the denial, Israel said it would consider granting Tlaib a humanitarian exception so she could visit her grandmother who lives in a village near Ramallah, under the control of the Palestinian Authority. But such a humanitarian exception would have to include promise not to engage in the type of BDS incitement planned for the original tour.

Tlaib made the humanitarian request with the promise that “I will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit,” and Israel granted it.

Despite having her request granted, it’s not clear if Tlaib is actually going. Her tweets this morning seem to suggest otherwise:

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.

This is just more evidence of Tlaib’s bad faith. The original tour was a stunt, and now that she refuses to see her grandmother despite having agreed to do so under preconditions, that excuse no longer is legitimate.


Here is Tlaib’s official statement:

“My family and I have cried together throughout this ordeal…It is with their strength and heart that I reiterate I am a duly elected United States Congresswoman and I will not allow the Israeli government to humiliate me and my family.”


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.