Saturday, September 14, 2019

Representative Rashida Tlaib, Netanyahu and Trump

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the alleged behest of President Donald Trump, recently barred US Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories. Tlaib and Omar are decidedly pro-Palestinian and pro-justice. 

The Representatives do not agree that Jewish people in Israel should have more rights than the Palestinians. It is possible that Netanyahu was going to ban them anyway and Trump just gave him political cover to do so. 

After the uproar Israel cynically agreed to allow Rep. Tlaib to visit her grandmother in the West Bank but only if she agreed in writing to not say or do anything critical of Israel during her time there. Desperate to see her grandmother, Tlaib briefly acceded to this humiliating condition, but faced with outrage by some relatives, constituents and supporters on this issue, Tlaib stood strong and refused to adhere to Israeli speech restrictions.

"In my attempt to visit Palestine, I’ve experienced the same racist treatment that many Palestinian-Americans endure when encountering the Israeli government. In preparation for my visit, my grandmother was deciding which fig tree we would pick from together, while Palestinians and Israelis who are against the illegal military occupation were looking forward to Members of Congress finally listening to and seeing them for the first time.
The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter – reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support.

“I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart. Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me – it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice. FULL STATEMENT

I will have more on this later but this just shows the incredible arrogance of Netanyahu and the Israeli right. Israel is no longer a client state but a tribute seeking one. Disgusting.

I don't recall a situation in which one country gives BILLIONS in cash, military aid, intelligence, and diplomatic cover to another and gets nothing in return but contemptuous interference in our politics, open spying, continued attacks on our free speech, never ending whiny demands for more money, and routine calculated insults to elected officials.This needs to stop. 

It is a bipartisan disease. If the House had any courage, which it certainly does not, all funding for anything Israeli related would be stripped out of the budget. But as long as Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are in charge, we know that won't happen. If Israel doesn't want American government visitors perhaps it should get off its lazy tuchis and stop sucking up American government money.

It's just a like a visitor to 1950s America refusing to meet with any representatives supporting segregation and instead meeting with Black leaders fighting segregation. Such effrontery right????

There's a right side and a wrong side in the so-called Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And some people work overtime, double time, triple time to prevent Americans from learning about what's going on in Israel and occupied Palestine.

Showing just how tone deaf some right wing Zionists have become on this issue, some Jewish Zionists, upset by Representative Tlaib's positions on Israel, are attempting to find and bankroll challengers to Tlaib. Apparently, these would be donors and string pullers do not even live in Tlaib's Detroit district(!) and are not motivated by anything other than passionate attachment to a foreign nation. 

Something is wrong when anti-semitism is routinely invoked to bully people into silence over their political disagreements with the state of Israel. There are people of every religious and ethnic background who are standing up to say that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is wrong. After the Palestinians who live under occupation or in second class citizenship some of the most trenchant critics of ugly Israeli racism and bully boy nationalism are Jewish.

In recent days a shocking report about powerful Detroit Jews using money to try to defeat Rep. Rashida Tlaib has been circulating on the web; and Tlaib says the attitudes in the story are evidence of “hate” and dehumanization of Palestinians.
Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on a gathering of Jewish power brokers in Detroit last week, arranged by a leading Jewish organization, at which they vowed to raise money to get rid of Tlaib because she supports boycott of Israel

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