The decision by the Israeli government to ban a couple of rabid anti-Semites with strong links to a terrorist front organization from leading their own special little congressional delegation to try to incite more conflict in the West Bank and Gaza has spawned a small industry of profoundly bad hot takes. Most of them look something like this:
Tlaib and Omar are more clowns than demons. Israel should be confident enough to let them have their pageant. https://t.co/Wiv72rffsa
— Eli Lake (@EliLake) August 15, 2019
Instead, the Administration should have encouraged Israel to welcome the visit as an opportunity for Reps. Tlaib and Omar to learn from the Israeli people.
We have to be willing to talk if we want people to change their views.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) August 15, 2019
or the shrill, high-pitched, spittle-flecked version
The ban is a stunning, unprecedented step, one that signals Israel, long a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, cannot tolerate criticism. For Netanyahu it sends message that he is Trump’s puppet, willing to damage the long-term relationship with US https://t.co/awuMZSDozc
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) August 15, 2019
Some are long winded and remarkably stupid
Missed opportunity by Israel to build a bridge with Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
You make allies by engaging with your adversaries. https://t.co/O993tOU3pg
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) August 15, 2019
These all operate on the dishonest premise–and I say dishonest to give the benefit of the doubt because you’d have to be an utter dolt to not look at their itinerary–that Omar and Tlaib were going to meet with any Israelis. They weren’t. You can’t debate and win over people who are traveling to your country to give aid and comfort and some measure of political legitimacy to terrorists.
This, however, is one of the worst. It is bad because it it not only stupid but it is lazy.
Opinion: Israel barring Omar and Tlaib is good for Democrats and bad for Republicans https://t.co/gsrUkJh2tr
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 16, 2019
First, it was disrespectful to the U.S. Congress, which has been a consistently stalwart friend of Israel. Setting aside the foreign policy views of these two congresswomen, U.S. congressional delegations should not be denied entry anywhere. Period.
…By denying them entry, Israel has turned its U.S. opponents into martyrs and distracted attention from their wrongheaded views rather than bringing them out into the open. I was actually looking forward to their trip, thinking it was going to produce a real headache for Democrats.
It is disrespectful of anti-Semites and terrorist sympathizers, for sure. To the extent people with those proclivities, in addition to the usual sexual deviancies, constitute a significant proportion of the Democrat party, it might be construed as being disrespectful of Democrats but Congress is actually a bit larger than that and there is scant evidence that very many people actually care that Tlaib and Omar were denied entry. After all, they declined to join a very large congressional delegation, 41 Democrats led by Steny Hoyer, that visited Israel just a couple of weeks ago in favor of their own little melodrama.
This is all sheer numbskullery. But now on to the real attention getter. How this hurt the GOP. Because, you see, to a casual observer one would think that ripping the mask off a couple anti-Semitic fascists by revealing their agenda and then publicly shaming them…to the extent either is capable of feeling shame, I mean, once you’ve married your brother you’ve sort of proven yourself to be impervious to conventional social pressure…and by then having the leadership of the Democrat party defend them, you’ve gone a long, long way to making Omar and Tlaib the public face of the Democrat party. But, my friend, you don’t play 8 dimensional chess like a card-carrying member of the GOPe would, a view point that lets them always snatch defeat from the slobbering jaws of victory.
The Democratic Party has a troubling strain of anti-Semitism running through it in greater force than at any other time in my memory. Britain’s Labour Party has a similar problem right now, but U.S.-Israeli ties are so tight that it is a bigger problem in Washington. But Israel’s shortsighted move allows the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to score points by defending this half of “the Squad” instead of being on the defensive for the wild things they may have otherwise said during their visit to Israel. I am sure all of the candidates who hope to be President Trump’s opponent in November 2020 are breathing a sigh of relief.
Denying Omar and Tlaib a platform to visit the country they have both maligned was a mistake. It did them a service, not Israel…
This is nonsense. Pelosi and Hoyer and other prominent Democrats have had to defend them to placate the party’s Jacobin wing. Those defenses, juxtaposed with the hideously anti-Jewish and anti-America rhetoric those two churn out will blanket the airwaves during election season.
Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Probably difficult to tell on twitter, but not a single human being is changing their opinion on Israel because it blocked a couple of terror-apologists from going on a propaganda tour.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) August 16, 2019
Israel did the right thing by making it clear that it will not admit people who are sworn to its destruction. Omar and Tlaib made a conscious choice to parrot rhetoric that falls shockingly close to al-Qaeda’s statements on Israel. They get to reap the benefits of being terror apologist. This probably isn’t going to hurt either Omar or Tlaib as they come from safe districts. But to think that this will hurt the GOP and help Democrats doesn’t even rise the level of stupid but, then, it is coming from a GOPe guy so that is baked it.