Even from the US-Tlaib/Omar Can Still Raise 5 Issues with Palestinian Leaders

Reps Omar and Tlaib are unapologetic anti-Semites and supporters of anti-peace BDS supporters who could have joined dozens of Congress members–Democrats and Republicans- who just visited Israel and Palestinian territories. Still, first instinct of Israeli officials to let them in now was probably the right one, even though Congresswoman Tlaib had already said she’s for a one state solution with ‘right of return’ for Palestinians and Omar declared she is coming to The Holy Land “… so I’ll learn more. But truly, everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation.”

Still, if they actually want to help Palestinians here are five issues they can still raise with Palestinian leaders from their home districts in Minnesota and Michigan:

–Corruption within the PA and Hamas: Courageous Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Tomeh and others have written about increasing frustration on the streets of the West Bank and even in Gaza. This frustration has even even led to protests, not against Israel, but against leaders who keep themselves and their cronies in power, while diverting international aid to private coffers.

–Threatening of Journalists who dare to report unfavorable news
Journalists covering developments in Gaza and the West Bank are often threatened and/or jailed. Freedom of the press and free speech are core values of any democracy. Will Tlaib and Omar urge the authorities who are supposedly steering their people towards a Palestinian State to begin to apply such standards? Considering that Omar met with Turkish President Recep Erdogan while his regime was jailing and torturing Turkish journalists, don’t hold your breath.

 Improving Medical facilities for sick Palestinians
Israel has offered to build a massive field hospital on the border with Gaza to help alleviate the suffering of sick Palestinians – a gesture that Hamas approves of but not the Palestinian Authority (PA). In fact, the PA’s policy is to oppose anything approaching normal contact with the “Israeli occupiers,” even if it means innocent Palestinians could die. Where do Tlaib and Omar stand on this issue?

PA’s Pay to Slay
While the Palestinian Authority constantly pleads poverty, it keeps upping payments to terrorists (and their families) who maim and murder Jews. The poorest Palestinians in the meantime have seen their benefits slashed. Would Talib and Omar agree to link future aid to the PA to their stopping payments that encourage more mayhem and murder of Jews?

And last but not least:

The future funding of UNRWA

No doubt the congresswomen have a priority of reinstating U.S. funds for the United Nations Relief Workers Agency (UNRWA), the NGO that now tends to fifth-generation Palestinian “refugees.” Even putting the  raging scandal in hundreds of millions of misappropriated funds aside, has either Tlaib or Omar read UNRWA’s anti-peace grade-school curriculum? Not a single map identifies Israel and terrorists are venerated as heroes. While another generation of Palestinian children in the Middle East are subject to brainwashing that denies the legitimacy and humanity of their Israeli neighbors, will either congresswoman demand reform of UNRWA? Will they back giving the Palestinians in the UNRWA camps the right to move out of those camps?

Will these freshman members of Congress contribute anything positive to loosen the Gordian knot that is the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Unlikely.

Consider that Tlaib has, in short order, accused certain U.S. senators of having more loyalty to foreign governments than America, cautioning that they should “remember what country they represent”– an especially insidious accusation of dual loyalty coming from a hyphenated-American Muslim woman.

She has also turned history on its head by alleging that Palestinian Arabs provided safe haven for Holocaust victims.

“In the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time,” she said. “And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways . . . but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”

In fact, the exact opposite was true. The leader of the Palestinians in the 1930s and 40s, the Grand Mufti of Palestine, acted on his genocidal hate of the Jewish people, traveling to Berlin to personally lobby Hitler to destroy all the Jews. He helped raise an army of volunteer Muslim SS for the Nazi cause, broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda and even toured a Nazi concentration Camp.

Tlaib also co-sponsored a pro-BDS resolution the House and compared the anti-peace, anti-Semitic BDS to boycotting Nazi Germany.

If anything, Ilhan Omar has been more outspoken in her hatred for Jews. After being castigated for her infamous “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” anti-Semitic trope, Omar doubled down accusing pro-Israel Americans of allegiance to a foreign country.

Always ready to attack and defame others, Omar has been rather thin-skinned when asked to comment on controversies within the Muslim world, including when asked about female genital mutilation or about Islamist terrorism.

That’s a shame. Because Tlaib and Omar, if they truly care about the future of the Palestinian people, can use their unique status to help the people deal with reality,  instead of using Israel as the backdrop to reinforce an alternative Palestinian universe controlled and manipulated by corrupt Jew-haters, thugs and terrorists.

 

 

About the Author
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean and Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Global Social Action
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