Omar: Now that I've filed my boycott-Israel motion, I'll go to ... Israel

The order of these two actions by Ilhan Omar tells us all we need to know about her motives. Omar announced yesterday that she will introduce a measure in the House endorsing the boycott movement against Israel, cheering it as a “non-violent” rebuke to Israel. That bill has already dropped, but it might run into a conflict on the agenda, US News & World Report noted yesterday:

House Democrats today rallied around a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets against four high-profile freshmen congresswomen.

But at least one of those congresswomen — Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — is about to drop her own resolution that may not go over so well with Democratic leadership. Her resolution would defend the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our first amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

The Minnesota Democrat noted she intends to introduce the bill early this week. At the same time, Democratic leadership plans to advance another nonbinding resolution condemning the BDS movement on Wednesday.

Awwww-kward! This move comes at a tricky time for her House Democrat colleagues anyway, as they scramble to defend Omar and three other frosh House Democrats at the same time they’re busy attacking Nancy Pelosi. According to Jake Tapper’s sources in the House Democratic caucus, the resolution adds to their frustration and disgust with the four, and Omar in particular:

Perhaps unaware of the irony, Omar proposes to follow up her endorsement of boycotting Israel by, er, visiting Israel. She’s going for an education, you see:

“We must support an end of the occupation and seek to achieve a two-state solution,” she added. “I believe firmly that the path to peace does not lies with a violent mean. We should condemn in the strongest terms violence that perpetuates the occupation. Whether it’s Israel, Hamas or individuals. We cannot also condemn non-violent means. We cannot simultaneously say we want peace and to oppose peaceful means to hold our allies accountable.”

At the end of the hearing, she told reporters that she’d be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian territories in a few weeks. “I am going in a couple of weeks and so I’ll learn more.” She did not provide any additional details regarding her travel plans.

If Omar needs to “learn more,” then why introduce an anti-Israel resolution in the House? Why not go there first, get an education, and then make a decision on policy issues? This is nothing more than a shameless ploy for attention, so threadbare that it exposes Omar’s ignorance and radicalism.

Well, to be fair, it might also be a way to troll the Israeli government. Fox News suggested earlier today that the Benjamin Netanyahu government might bar entry to both Omar and fellow Squad member Rashida Tlaib:

Israeli law permits authorities to deny entry to any people who support a boycott of the Jewish state — which both U.S. lawmakers have done. …

According to Haaretz, the congresswomen may be allowed to enter if the Foreign Ministry recommends that the Strategic Affairs and Interior ministries issue a waiver for them on the basis that they are political figures and denying them the entry would negatively affect Israel’s foreign relations.

But due to the sensitivity of the issue, it will come down to Netanyahu, who enjoys a stellar relationship with President Trump, to decide whether to allow the congresswoman into the country, the newspaper reported.

Netanyahu’s a pretty canny politician, so I’d expect him not to take the bait and bar them from entry. Instead, he’ll use their attempt to create propaganda with some media bait of his own. Neither Omar nor Tlaib are terribly experienced politicians, which might mean they’ll be in way over their head. Even if they’re not, though, Netanyahu will be able to claim that he has nothing to fear from their visit — and neither does anyone else, which makes the BDS movement silly and pointless.

Meanwhile, as the House drama over impeachment overshadowed everything, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) reminded everyone that the BDS movement shrugs off any issues with Hamas, “a designated foreign terrorist organization.” Why are Omar and Tlaib endorsing a movement that won’t distance itself from terrorists?

“My colleague who just spoke used the frequent use of the words ‘honestly’ and ‘honest.’ Let’s just get to a lot of what is left out,” the 39-year-old New York Republican said Wednesday, referring to Omar, who had just given a speech during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing supporting a resolution promoting the BDS movement. “The BDS movment has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. BDS supporters individually are not distancing themselves from Hamas either.”

Zeldin extended his remarks in a statement to the Washington Examiner, scoffing at comparisons made by Omar between BDS and the Boston Tea Party:

“We have witnessed the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hate throughout the world, in our nation, on college campuses and within the halls of Congress, and whether this bigotry is brazen or it’s blatant anti-Semitism deceptively called ‘legitimate’ we must crush it wherever it exists. Unfortunately, there are Members of this House who have emboldened this rhetoric and continued to prop up the BDS movement whose founder, in referring to Zionism, said ‘I, for one, support euthanasia.’ I’d strongly caution my colleagues that there is no moral equivalency at all to be drawn between the BDS movement attacking Israel and opposition to the Nazis or the Boston Tea Party.”