At her joint press conference Monday with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over their being barred from entering Israel, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) suggested that Israel was neither an ally of the United States nor a genuine democracy: “Denying a visit to a duly elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally. And denying millions of people freedom of movement or expression or self-determination is not consistent with being a democracy.” But there were a few other salient issues regarding their aborted trip that they failed to mention.
The sponsors of the Tlaib/Omar junket to “Palestine” (nowhere in their planned itinerary did they mention visiting “Israel”) have been linked to anti-Semitism and jihad terrorism. They had nothing to say about that.
The reason why the freedom of movement of any Palestinian is restricted is because of Palestinian genocidal incitement and celebration of the jihad murder of Israeli civilians. They had nothing to say about that.
The Palestinians have turned down numerous peace offers from Israel, not content with anything other than the total destruction of Israel, as I show in my forthcoming book The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. They had nothing to say about that.
There was a great deal more that they distorted beyond recognition: “The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision,” said Omar when the ban was first announced, “is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to restore some realism and honesty to the discussion: “As a free and vibrant democracy,” he said, “Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for, and work to impose, boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prevent the entry of people believed to be damaging to the country.”
That’s why they were banned, and with good reason. Omar and Tlaib are not just congresswomen who criticize Israel. They are active apologists for the jihad terror networks Hamas and Hizballah. The Washington Examiner reported in May that “Rep. Ilhan Omar appeared to take the side of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad Sunday night after terrorists fired hundreds of rockets at civilian targets in Israel this weekend.” Omar tweeted: “How many more protesters must be shot, rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends? The status quo of occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unsustainable. Only real justice can bring about security and lasting peace.”
About Hamas’ genocidal incitement and celebration of the murders of Israeli civilians she was silent. Nor has she ever uttered a murmur of protest against the fact that Hamas is dedicated to the complete destruction of Israel, which, if it ever happened, would result in the deaths of millions of Israelis.
Tlaib and Omar are unapologetic and open about their support for jihad terror groups. Tlaib, meanwhile, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “was photographed with an avowed Hizballah supporter in January – just after being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives.” When this came to light, “she claimed she didn’t know the guy or what he stood for. But just two months later, Tlaib did it again. In a March photograph just discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Tlaib poses with Nader Jalajel, a Palestinian activist who last year mourned the death of a terrorist who led a shooting attack that murdered a rabbi.”
Not only that. Both Tlaib and Omar have also spoken at fundraisers for the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements about how Islamic law should be imposed in the U.S. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) CAIR chapters frequently distribute pamphlets telling Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush in 2017 called for the overthrow of the U.S. government. CAIR’s national outreach manager is an open supporter of Hamas.
Meanwhile, generally unremarked in the establishment media coverage of Tlaib and Omar and their criticism of Israel is the fact that all the political parties in the “Palestinian territories,” without exception, are pro-terror and dedicated to the destruction of Israel. This is clearly what Omar and Tlaib support. That they would be darlings of the media and the Leftist establishment is a disquieting indication of the perspectives and goals of both.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.