Steny Hoyer ‘Infuriated’ at Israeli Ambassador Instead of Omar and Tlaib

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

NEW YORK — Instead of condemning Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar for their rabid antisemitism or for plotting a trip to Israel clearly meant to demonize and smear the Mideast’s only democracy, Democratic leaders continue to fume at Israel’s envoy to Washington, Ron Dermer, over statements he made prior to the denial of entry to the two extremist Congresswomen.

Ron Kampeas, writing for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), reports that “House majority leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, is especially infuriated because Dermer appeared to assure him that Tlaib and Omar would be permitted to visit.”

Kampeas reports that “multiple Democrats told The Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Ron Dermer’s role in the banning of two congresswoman from visiting Israel means he will never get a meeting in a Democratic office again.”

“This is the nail in the coffin,” a top Democratic congressional staffer was quoted by JTA as saying of Dermer.

Democrats are reportedly angry because a few weeks prior to Israel’s decision to reject Omar and Tlaib’s trip, the Israeli ambassador had assured Hoyer that “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any Member of Congress into Israel.”

Never mind that as an ambassador, Dermer would not play a role in the decision to reject the provocative trip by Omar and Tlaib. Their visit was clearly a ploy to push an anti-Israel agenda tied to the ideology of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement ultimately seeking to destroy the Jewish state.

Dermer was conveying the Israeli government’s position as it stood prior to a visit to Israel by a Congressional delegation led by Hoyer. Omar and Tlaib did not go on Hoyer’s trip and instead decided to stage a separate, anti-Israel tour.

Week after Dermer made those statements and one week after Hoyer’s visit, Israel obtained the two antisemitic lawmakers’ itinerary showing Omar and Tlaib’s intention to use the trip to harm Israel’s reputation and support BDS ideology.

Israel’s ban is in keeping with a law that allows the country to deny passage to BDS leaders given that the movement singles out Jews for boycott and acts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Omar and Tlaib are the leaders of that movement in Congress. Only a few weeks ago, the two introduced a Congressional resolution aimed at supporting the antisemitic BDS Movement.

The agenda of the Omar and Tlaib visit, meanwhile, was also revealed by the group that the duo decided to utilize to organize and co-sponsor the visit. Miftah is an anti-Israel organization that itself supports BDS and is led by notorious Palestinian radical and PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi. NGO Monitor, a watchdog on extremist nonprofits, notes that Miftah has accused Israel of committing “massacres,” “apartheid,” “summary executions” of Palestinian youth and “Judaizing” Jerusalem. It has also accused Israel of “ethnic-cleansing of Palestinian-Israeli Arabs.”

Kampeas further reports:

What’s saving Dermer from what could have been an unprecedented humiliation — a formal condemnation by the US House of Representatives — is the fact that it is unprecedented for Congress to condemn an ambassador, and that Dermer and Netanyahu are seen as lame ducks.

The JTA article follows a report in McClatchy last week citing “two sources familiar with the discussions” as saying that “about a dozen lawmakers, including senior Jewish members, began discussions on Friday morning over ways to communicate a ‘deep lack of confidence and trust’” in Dermer.

Missing from the debate is that the target for Democratic leaders’ fury is Dermer and not the party’s own growing antisemitism scandal with Democrats’ repeatedly expressing support for notorious antisemites Omar and Tlaib.

While Hoyer and other Democrats have been looking to sanction Dermer, the same Democratic Party shamefully infamously abandoned plans to pass a House resolution last March specifically condemning antisemitism even though the resolution was in direct response to Omar’s repeated use of antisemitic tropes.

Eventually, in a move described by the Associated Press as an “embarrassing misstep for Democratic leaders,” House Democrats finally passed a watered-down resolution generally condemning “hateful expressions of intolerance” instead of a strong statement against antisemitism specifically.  The Republican-controlled Senate responded to the Democrat’s inexcusable failure by immediately unanimously passing a resolution explicitly condemning antisemitism.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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