Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

On Wednesday, President, Isaac Herzog announced: “In just a few days, I will pay an important visit to the United States, to mark seventy-five years of Israeli independence, and seventy-five years of our solid alliance, which lies above and beyond any and all disagreements.”

Herzog’s visit will include a speech before a joint session of Congress, celebrating the long friendship between the two countries.


Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted in response late Wednesday night: “There is no way in hell I am attending the joint session address from a President whose country has banned me and denied Rashida Tlaib the ability to see her grandma.”

In August 2019, Israel banned Omar from entering the country over her support for BDS, based on Section 2 of the Law on Entry into Israel. She was scheduled to visit together with Congresswoman Talib, and the visit was canceled. After reviewing the case, Israel allowed Talib to visit her grandmother in the village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa on humanitarian grounds, on the condition that she respect Israeli law and refrain from supporting BDS during her visit. Tlaib refused those terms and the visit never happened.

Muftia, the grandmother of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, holds her picture outside her home in the village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa, August 16, 2019. / Flash90

In February, the House voted to remove Omar from her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, citing past comments she had made about Israel and concerns over her objectivity. They meant to say that she is a rabid antisemite.

Two Republican candidates running for Congress have called for Omar’s execution. In November 2019, Danielle Stella, Omar’s Republican opponent for Congress, was banned from Twitter for suggesting that Omar should be hanged for treason if found guilty of passing information to Iran. In December 2019, George Buck also suggested that Omar be hanged for treason. Buck was removed from the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program. I suppose it was worth it.

In 2012, Omar tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” After NY Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote that Omar’s statement tied into a millennia-old “conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator,” Omar apologized for not “disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used.”

In February 2019, after Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to “take action” against Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their support of the BDS movement, Omar quoted from a hip hop song, “It’s All About the Benjamins,” meaning the $100 bills with which the Jews are bribing US politicians.

Omar tweeted Wednesday night: “Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address comes on behalf of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, at a time when the government is openly promising to ‘crush’ Palestinian hopes of statehood—essentially putting a nail in the coffin of peace and a two-state solution.”

And then she took the time to comment on internal Israeli politics, sounding like someone Haaretz should look into for the occasional op-ed: the visit “also comes as the Israeli government is pushing through what legal experts describe as a judicial coup to centralize power and undermine checks on their power, prompting months of mass demonstrations against the government throughout Israel.”

“And above all,” she tweeted onward, “it comes during the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in history, immediately following Israel’s largest incursion into the occupied West Bank in two decades, one that flattened city blocks, and killed at least a dozen people.”

“These are all deeply concerning trends—especially considering the fact that we provide Israel with nearly $4 billion in annual military aid,” Omar noted, dovetailing her message with that of another useful idiot, Tom Friedman, in his NYT column (White House Urging Israelis to Play Nice, Tom Friedman Says US to Reassess Relationship with Israel).

Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis on Tuesday blasted President Biden for his failure to invite Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House. “Biden meets with dictators of countries such as Venezuela but snubs the democratically elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” DeSantis tweeted. “This is not how you should treat an ally.”

If you ask me, this should have been President Herzog’s response to the White House invitation.

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