Would you admit into your home persons sworn to your ruin and that of everyone and everything that you love? Persons committed to your downfall? No, instead you would protect yourself sensibly: you would take out a restraining order.
In refusing entry to U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Israel has exercized a kind of diplomatic restraining order which, in effect says: “You are out there working daily to harm me and I can’t stop you from that. But I will not let you into my home. I will not let you attack me in my own home.”
A restraining order is issued by a court to protect a person, business, company, establishment, or entity, and the general public, in a situation involving violence, assault, harassment, stalking, etc.
A review of the manifest submitted by the Congresswomen to the Israeli government called Israel ‘Palestine,’ refused to meet with a single Israeli government official; outlined a program of activity designed to promote and legitimize the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement –illegal in Israel–for which they have become staunch advocates in Washington. The Congresswomen did little to disguise their intent to use the visit as an operation to turn people against Israel.
To that end, the Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar have worked tirelessly: stalked and harassed Israel both publicly and in the halls of Congress; advocated foreign policy positions and a boycott that threaten the safety and well-being of not only Israel but of Jews everywhere. Tlaib and Omar, with their other ‘Squad’ members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressly, have made antisemitism/anti-Zionism a required plank of any successful Democratic bid for office. They have conferred legitimacy upon Progressive hatred for Jews and destruction of Israel and they have done it in Washington D.C.. in the halls of Congress, in the very heart of American democracy.
Today, with the media touting the ‘Squad’ as the bold new face of the Democratic Party, Jews descended from generations of voting Democrats feel disoriented, even as the alternative, to vote Republican in support of Trump, strikes some as an impossible prospect. As they watch the post-war order unravel to reveal a world just as antisemitic as the one that birthed a Hitler and a Mussolini, more than a few American Jews feel lost, paralyzed,.
The Left will want to couch Israel’s refusal of the Congresswomens’ visit as compliance with President Trump’s request not admit them; and the Right as a favor repaid to a president who seems, at least on the surface, to be a staunch ally of Israel. Whether or not Trump is such a friend, though, really doesn’t matter.
No Democracy is obliged to show courtesy to those who conspire to destroy it, for to do so would not be democratic: it would be idiotic. Israel’s choice to defend herself sends a clear message to those who would see her perish: you may work and plan day and night for our destruction but here, at home, we call the shots regardless of you.
Frankly, for American Jews, there should at least be some reassurance in that, if from little else.
Alan Kaufman’s novel, The Berlin Woman, will appear this October from Mandel Vilar Publishers. https://www.mvpublishers.org/post/the-berlin-woman