Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib Fail to Criticize Palestinian Terrorism at Anti-Israel Presser

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (Jim Mone / Associated Press)
Jim Mone / Associated Press

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) held a press conference in Minneapolis Monday to denounce the Israeli government’s decision to bar them from entering the country due to their support for a boycott of Israel.

Both complained about the Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian territory, including security checkpoints. Not once –at least according to the C-SPAN live feed, which omitted the final question of the press conference — did either of them criticize Palestinian terror against Israel, which is why the checkpoints were created in the first place.

In addition, Omar claimed that the Israeli government sought to deport local Human Rights Watch director Omar Shakir “because he has reported on human rights conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.” In fact, the reason for Shakir’s deportation is that he supported a boycott against Israel — a conclusion upheld thus far in the Israeli courts.

Omar also claimed that the Jewish and Muslim communities had been “made into the bogeyman by this [Trump] administration.” She did not apologize for her recent antisemitic statements — including her and Tlaib’s sharing of an antisemitic cartoon over the weekend by an artist who participated in Iran’s Holocaust cartoon contest in 2006.

Tlaib drew parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa — a criticism that left-wing Israeli journalist Benjamin Pogrund, who once covered the anti-apartheid movement from within South Africa, has called “cynical and manipulative.” (Pogrund declared in a New York Times op-ed: “Those who accuse Israel of apartheid — some even say, “worse than apartheid” — have forgotten what actual apartheid was, or are ignorant, or malevolent.”)

Tlaib broke down as she described how her mother “had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints even though she was a United States citizen.” She did not mention the victims of those Jews and Arabs by Palestinian terrorists who attempt to smuggle weapons and explosives through checkpoints — even, in several cases, inside ambulances.

The press conference included statements by left-wing Jewish activists who support Omar and Tlaib and oppose Israel. One, Carin Mrotz, proclaimed: “We have been dehumanized in the service of a white nationalist agenda.”

Tlaib has previously supported ending Israel’s existence in favor of a single, Palestinian state. Miftah, the organization planning Omar and Tlaib’s visit, has published antisemitic propaganda and defended terrorism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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