An important moral victory for Israel and a demoralizing defeat for her enemies

Every country, democracies included, bars entry to those who reject its authority and seek to undermine it. The United States does not allow entrance to supporters of Al Qaeda or ISIS, maintains a no-fly list of tens-of-thousands of such people, and a terrorist watch list containing 2.5 million additional names. That Talib and Omar are members of congress does not make them less obnoxious than other anti-Semites, it only makes them more dangerous. Nor does it entitle them to violate Israeli sovereignty or anti-BDS law.

Democratic Party Representatives Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar, support, and have ties to, numerous organizations seeking the destruction of Israel including Hamas, as well as anti-Semitic organizations such as Louis Farrakhan’s nation of Islam. No sane, self-respecting country allows entrance to people working towards her destruction. Why should Israel accept this hypocritical anti-Semitic double standard?

Yet that is exactly what Democratic politicians are demanding that Israel do. The Democratic congressional caucus could not manage a simple condemnation of Omar and Talib’s hateful statements about Jews and Israel but has lots of criticism for Israel’s decision to bar them. That there is an anti-Semitic double standard towards the Jewish State is not news, that Jewish Representatives like Nadler and Schumer have so internalized it is pitiful.  Such politicians claim to support Israel while working directly against her government’s policy, laws, and interests. Israel’s decision to bar Omar and Talib from entering the country exposes the hypocrisy of these false friends of Israel. They now openly defend two members of their own caucus whom they know to be vicious anti-Semites sworn to the destruction of the Jewish State. This exposes their pretense of support for Israel which is why they so vehemently protest Israel’s decision. To paraphrase Shakespeare: Methinks they doth protest too much.

The Democratic congressional caucus could not manage a simple condemnation of Omar and Talib’s hateful statements about Jews and Israel but has lots of criticism for Israel’s decision to bar them.

What is more surprising is AIPAC’s defense of Talib and Omar’s right to create provocations, promote boycotts, denigrate and delegitimize Israel. After all it was AIPAC that Talib was referring to in her infamous remark that “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” AIPAC is supposed to be a lobby defending Israel’s positions to the U.S. congress and not the other way around.  

This is not AIPAC’s first lapse in judgement. The organization supported the morally indefensible expulsion of the Jews of Gaza arguing that their charge is to support the policy of the government of Israel. Yet, here they place themselves in direct opposition to the policy of her democratically elected government. The only thing consistent about AIPAC’s position is that they were on the wrong side of both issues.

Had Israel listened to such misguided advice and allowed Talib and Omar into the country, we would today be witness to countless hours of their provocations in the media, and the inevitable condemnations from a liberal press predisposed to believe the worst about the Jewish State. Talib and Omar would have gained stature and credibility as critics of Israel claiming first-hand experience of her “cruelty and oppression.” By barring these two anti-Semites Israel has asserted her self-respect and sovereignty and the issue will be forgotten by tomorrow’s new cycle.

Some U.S. Jews may be swayed by the irrational arguments being made by Democratic politicians and media on behalf of Talib and Omar, but Israeli voters will not be so easily fooled. Israeli politicians, like Yair Lapid, who have parroted the Democratic party line on this, will be punished in the upcoming election and Prime Minister Netanyahu rewarded by the Israeli people for standing firm against their enemies. Some say that Netanyahu does this, primarily, to please Israeli voters. And what, pray tell, is wrong with that? To whom should the Prime Minister of Israel be beholden if not the people who elected him and whom he is pledged to protect?  It is high time that Israeli politicians placed the will of the Israeli people above the sensibilities of their mortal enemies.

It is a pity that Israel’s government did not have the backbone to bar Omar and Talib until prompted to do so by President Trump. Nevertheless, the final decision was a good one, and an important one. The end result is a moral victory for Israel and a demoralizing defeat for her enemies.

About the Author
Devin Sper was born and raised in New York and lived in Israel for 10 years. He holds a degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and served in the Israel Defense Forces. Devin Sper is the author of The Future of Israel, winner of a 2005 GLYPH award.
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