Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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:

or the shrill, high-pitched, spittle-flecked version

Some are long winded and remarkably stupid

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.

How exactly does this work?

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.

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.

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