STATEMENT OF THE ISRAELI-JEWISH CONGRESS (IJC)
IJC Reaffirms Special Bond Between Israel and United States,
However Fully Supports Israeli Government’s Decision to Ban Entry to
Members of Congress Rashida Tlaib & Ilhan Omar
17 August, 2019
The relationship between the State of Israel and the United States is sacrosanct, based on our deeply rooted shared values, strategic interests, as well as our common future and desire for peace.
We deeply value the support shown to Israel by the United States Congress and the American people. Indeed, it was in recognition of this type of bipartisan support, that just last week saw nearly 70 Members of Congress – from both parties – visit Israel, as part of an AIPAC delegation.
Regrettably, Members of Congress Rashida Tlaib and Ilan Omar, who chose not participate in this delegation, intended primarily for first-term Members of Congress, do not share the view about the importance of maintaining the bi-partisan nature and support for Israel.
On the contrary, Reps. Tlaib and Omar have exhibited open and visceral hostility towards Israel, unquestionable Antisemitic behavior, as well as advocating for the racist Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and sympathy with various Palestinian terrorist movements.
To its credit, and notwithstanding Reps. Tlaib and Omar’s hostile positions, Israel initially agreed to permit entry.
However, once their itineraries became known, it was clearly evident that they did not have even the slightest intention to learn about the situation on the ground or hear perspective of Israel.
Rather, this trip, sponsored by an extremist NGO (‘Miftah’) headed by long-time Palestinian leader and terrorist supporter Hanan Ashrawi, was no more than a PR gimmick, intended to embolden their BDS activities and attacks on Israel.
Every democracy, including Israel, has the right to determine whom to allow and deny entry, including to those exhibiting extremist positions, contrary to a state’s national security interest. The very goal of the BDS Movement, as stated by their leadership, is the destruction of the Jewish state.
Furthermore, Israel also has very clearly defined law, refusing entry to those who actively support the BDS Movement, of which Reps. Tlaib and Omar are active leaders of in Congress. In this regard, we note that both Members of Congress recently sponsored a pro-BDS resolution, which although was overwhelmingly rejected, sickening sought to compare Nazi Germany with the Jewish state.
Despite the abundant evidence indicating the nefarious nature of Reps. Tlaib & Omar’s proposed trip, the Israeli government should be commended for offering Rep. Tlaib the opportunity to enter Israel on humanitarian grounds to visit her grandmother. However the fact that she rejected this gesture, only further underscores that she had no intention of goodwill or real desire to see her grandmother, but rather to use this as a PR exercise to harm Israel.
Israel has no greater friend and ally than the United States, whose unwavering support and friendship, we deeply appreciate and respect.
As any nation, the State of Israel must also act in its own national self-interests, and therefore we fully support the initial decision of the Israeli government to deny entry to Members of Congress Tlaib and Omar, whose sole purpose was to attack, harm and promote their pernicious boycott movement against the Jewish state.
Vladimir Sloutsker (President, IJC)
For further media enquiries, please contact IJC Executive Director Arsen Ostrovsky (email@example.com, +972 (0)3 644 4688).
The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC) is an independent Israel-based organization devoted to promoting the principle of Israel as a Jewish state and supporting Israel in the international community.