Looks like Israel got its point across. After getting shut out of her planned visit with Ilhan Omar to work with a pro-BDS group in the Palestinian territories, Rashida Tlaib lashed out publicly over the snub. Privately, however, Tlaib asked for humanitarian entry and promised not to promote BDS on her visit with family. Israel approved the request earlier today on that condition:
Interior Minister Arye Deri approved on Friday the request by US Rep. Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel to visit her relatives.
The ministry issued a statement saying that Deri hopes Tlaib would honor her obligation not to promote boycott activity while on her trip, and that the visit would be of a humanitarian nature. …
A few hours earlier, Tlaib sent Deri a request to be admitted to the country on humanitarian grounds.
“I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa,” Tlaib wrote in the letter, which became public on Friday morning.
“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” the Congresswoman added. “I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”
This visit pointedly does not include fellow Squad member Omar. It will last most of the next week, but assuming Tlaib keeps her word, the visit will have a considerably lower profile than the one planned earlier by Tlaib and Omar. Had Tlaib made an application on these grounds to enter Israel in the first place, no one would have thought twice about allowing her to enter.
Tlaib’s offer to refrain from conducting political stunts against the Israeli government might not make her terribly welcome, the Associated Press notes almost as an aside:
Tlaib and Omar had planned to visit Jerusalem and several West Bank cities, starting this weekend. Both are known as supporters of “boycott, divestment and sanctions,” or BDS, a Palestinian-led global movement. Israel alleges that BDS targets Israel’s very existence, while the movement’s supporters say it is intended as leverage to end more than half a century of Israeli military rule over Palestinians. …
Tlaib’s apparent pledge to conduct the visit in line with restrictions imposed by Israel was bound to anger Palestinians who had hoped the congressional tour would highly their plight.
Yes, abject surrenders tend to anger one’s allies. That’s not to say that Tlaib won’t get a public welcome in the West Bank from the Palestinians, but if she abides by her offer, it’s not likely to be more than superficial in nature. She’s one of the few voices in Congress they have, though, and they’re stuck with her radical nature … just as they’ve been stuck with the radical nature of their own leadership for over 50 years. They’re not going to throw her out, but expect to hear grumbling as her visit continues.
The decision should lower the temperature on Capitol Hill, although it won’t entirely return it to normal. Democrats and some Republicans got steamed over the rebuke to two members of Congress, and especially its last-minute, publicity-generating nature. Israel handled this poorly and did some unnecessary damage to its bipartisan standing in Washington DC. They should have calculated this better by either denying entry up front to Tlaib and Omar, or by ensuring that they controlled their access to media and travel during their visit.
Nevertheless, Israel got the point across. They’re not going to allow people to come to Israel and agitate for its destruction, even if they manage to win an election in a congressional district. If members of Congress want to support annihilationist efforts like BDS rather than tell the Palestinians to get used to Israel’s existence and plan for their own state accordingly, don’t expect the welcome wagon.
Update: If this is true, it’s nuts:
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 16, 2019
Say, wasn’t it Tlaib who offered those conditions in her request? Here’s the letter:
Tlaib just made her stuntwork even more clear, and provided Israel with even more justification for its decision yesterday.
Update: Oh, please:
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. https://t.co/z5t5j3qk4H
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 16, 2019
Lest anyone forget, it was Tlaib who offered not to promote BDS while visiting her grandmother. She’s the one who wrote, “I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.” If she objected to those conditions, why did she offer them in the first place?
Tlaib’s a lying provocateur, who’s now been caught in her own trap.