This week Israeli officials announced that US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) would be denied entry into Israel. Israel was going to make an exception to their law barring entry for all proponents of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) in order to let the two U.S. Congresswomen (and outspoken advocates for BDS) visit the Jewish State.
Israel later announced, however, they would no longer allow the US congresswomen to visit.
If you’ve never heard of BDS, it’s an economic (and academic) attempt to delegitimize and damage the State of Israel, masquerading as a human rights campaign. It’s particular prevalent on college campuses in the US.
Already 27 US states have passed anti-BDS resolutions, including Minnesota and Michigan which Reps. Tlaib and Omar represent. Fourteen other states have anti-BDS legislation pending. These state actions reveal that the American people overwhelmingly disapprove of the BDS movement.
The pro-BDS views of Reps. Tlaib and Omar don’t represent those of the American people, even those from their own states.
Israel is a sovereign nation and has the right to allow or deny entry as they see fit.
Many critics have called this move undemocratic, but in any democracy or constitutional republic, the citizens, who form the government, have the right to choose who enters the country.
Let’s not forget that sovereign Arab states like Iraq and Yemen prohibit Israeli citizens from entering their country. That’s right, and even non-Israelis who have visited Israel aren’t allowed to enter some Arab nations (hence why Israel doesn’t stamp passports).
Israel is fully justified in disallowing Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar to visit. It would’ve done more harm than good to let two closed-minded Congresswomen, who’s views promote the opposite of their state constituencies, take a highly-publicized visit to Israel.
Israel decides who gets that privilege, not anyone else.