Sunday, Rep. Ilhan Omar joined Face the Nation where she used the platform to promote the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS) against Israel, though she denies supporting the movement while running for office.

After attempting to justify her controversial 9/11 remarks (“some people did something”), Omar suggested that BDS was the best avenue to “advance the cause of peace.”

Transcript here:

MARGARET BRENNAN: You were specifically banned by the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu from visiting that country. He faces a very tough election in the next few days. If he doesn’t win, are you going to try to go back and do you stand by your call for a boycott of Israel?

REP. OMAR: I certainly hope that the people of Israel make a different decision. And my hope is that they recognize that his existence, his policies, his rhetoric really is contradictory to the peace that we are all hoping that that region receives and receives soon. Just right now if you look at the annexation that’s taking place, for many of us in Congress there has been long standing support for its two state solution and this annexation now is going to make sure that that peace process does not happen. And we will not get to a two state solution. I think what is really important is for people to understand that you have to give people the opportunity to seek the kind of justice they want in a peaceful way. And I think the opportunity to boycott divest sanction is the kind of pressure that leads to that peaceful process.

Just over a month ago, Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib were denied entry to Israel for their support of the BDS movement. PM Netanyahu said, “it became clear that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel’s legitimacy.”

Professor Jacobson blogged:

Anti-Israel representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both of whom support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement (though they denied that while running for office), are planning a trip to Israel. BDS is widely recognized as anti-Semitic and subterfuge for the destruction of Israel. Both also credibly have been accused of making anti-Semitic statements themselves.

The trip reportedly was to include the Temple Mount, where the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are built on top of the destroyed Jewish Temples. It is the holiest place in Judaism, but has been used for a century by Arab rulers to incited violence against Jews. Jews are barred from praying on the Temple Mount, but are allowed to visit, which invariably leads to Arab harassment of the visitors and often riots.

The plan by Omar and Tlaib to visit the Temple Mount was considered a provocation that could lead to violence, or at least be used by Palestinians against Israel.

Under Israeli law, Israel can bar entry to supporters of BDS, though it is not absolute and the government has discretion. The Israeli government initially decided to allow them entry to maintain good relations with Congress.

There were numerous reports that Trump was not happy with that decision, and conveyed messages that Omar and Tlaib should be denied entry.

 
 
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