Politics: A toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel after the nation refuses entry to two members of Congress - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsA toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel after the nation refuses entry to two members of Congress

04:55  17 august  2019
04:55  17 august  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Israel official: Netanyahu weighing ban on Omar, Tlaib visit

Israel official: Netanyahu weighing ban on Omar, Tlaib visit Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was holding consultations with senior ministers and aides on Thursday to reevaluate the decision to allow two Democratic congresswomen to enter the country next week. © Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listen to President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington.

Other Democrats worry that Jewish voters may want to punish some Democratic House and Senate members who boycotted Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress last month. "Many fellow Democrats of the Jewish faith were appalled" that lawmakers didn't show the prime minister "the

Israel ’s government on Thursday barred Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering “It is utterly egregious for the Israeli government to deny entry to two sitting members of the United States Congress But the move threatens to open a new rift on Capitol Hill over Israel

A politically explosive fight over Israel’s attempt to block two members of Congress from entering the country — at President Trump’s urging — has elevated rifts between it and Democrats who have increasingly started to view the Israeli government and its leader as out of line or, in the eyes of at least two presidential candidates, even racist.

A toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel after the nation refuses entry to two members of Congress© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters President Trump greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February 2017.

The shift in dialogue has been accelerated by the tight embrace between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and after a dizzying 48 hours, some Democrats are more openly discussing the unusual step of reconsidering foreign aid to the longtime ally.

Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar

Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar Congressional lawmakers wasted no time Thursday lashing out at President Trump for his support of Israel's decision.

Opened for signature in 1968, the treaty entered into force in 1970. 1985 but never came into compliance, announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003, following detonation of nuclear devices in violation of core obligations.[4] Four UN member states have never accepted the NPT, three of which

The rift developed after some in the labor movement, whose cash flow has dwindled and whose That joint initiative enraged members of the nation ’s biggest construction unions, already on edge But with blue-collar white voters shifting to the Republican Party and Democrats growing more reliant

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The dispute has fractured bipartisan support for Israel and moved debates over it into partisan space more typically home to issues such as abortion, gun control and immigration.

“There is this tectonic shifting of one of the fundamental plates of American politics,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group. “This has been a plank of the rule book for 60 years, and things are shifting in a really important way.”

The situation also has put many Democratic lawmakers in the awkward position of defending colleagues they find politically toxic while rebuking a country they support. It has complicated a months-long effort by congressional Democrats to distance themselves from Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and repair some of the damage flowing from accusations that they were anti-Israel or, in the case of Omar, had made anti-Semitic remarks.

Democrats blast Israel's 'dangerous' decision to bar Omar, Tlaib from entering the country

Democrats blast Israel's 'dangerous' decision to bar Omar, Tlaib from entering the country Many lawmakers, who called on the Israeli government to reverse the move, accused President Donald Trump of instigating the decision.

While there are differences between us (the migrants traveling to Europe must cross a sea while those heading for Israel She drew connections between settler colonialism and the occupying forces which for Mexicans The toxic US- Israel relationship has profound consequences that affect all Americans

In the latest skirmish between extremist Israel partisans and more strategic ones, the rightwing won: Israel will deny entry to Congressional delegation. Netanyahu held consultations with members of his cabinet Wednesday about the congresswomen’s upcoming visit to Israel and the Palestinian

Trump has worked to portray those members of Congress as the face of the Democratic Party. But his extreme action — urging an ally to bar two members of Congress from entering — has forced many Democrats to defend Omar and Tlaib even while making clear that they do not agree with all of their views.

“The only person who won and got what they wanted was Trump. No one else was happy about it,” said Aaron Keyak, a Democratic strategist who works with pro-Israel groups. “He goes over the top in attacking them, and Israel goes over the top in responding. And then you force even hawkish Democrats to jump to their defense.”

“This is exactly what Trump wants,” he added. “And in the meantime it is hurting the support for the thing the pro-Israel community most cares about, which is the U.S.-Israeli relationship.”

For decades, Israel held a special place in American politics, with almost universal support. That has eroded over the past several years but seemed to disintegrate this week in a way that some fear could do irreparable damage.

Ilhan Omar accuses Netanyahu of imposing ‘Muslim ban’ as Dems decry decision to block Israel visit

Ilhan Omar accuses Netanyahu of imposing ‘Muslim ban’ as Dems decry decision to block Israel visit Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Thursday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of implementing his own “Muslim ban” after his government said it would block her and another Democratic congresswoman from entering Israel. The move – announced shortly after President Trump tweeted that it would "show great weakness" to allow them in – has ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu's government stands by the decision arguing the U.S. lawmakers have an ulterior, anti-Israel agenda.

No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas—even ideas they strongly object to. And no leader of the free world should encourage them to do so. I don't believe any nation should deny entry to elected Members of Congress , period. It’s an affront to the United States.

A CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION led by Democrat Steny Hoyer (right) It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to challenge US congressional commitment to Israel at the The text, after all, merely takes a principled stand in favor of two states, a concept endorsed by Israel Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro tweeted this week that “the idea that the bulk of Americans or members of

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has been one of the most outspoken recent critics of Israel and has suggested withholding foreign aid. He labeled the country’s government as “dare I say, racist,” the same description fellow candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke used for Netanyahu.

“If Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country . . . maybe they can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel,” Sanders said on MSNBC.

The past few days also have jumbled a months-long strategy on the part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her leadership team to try to emphasize that Democrats are friends of Israel, after months of accusations by the president that they are not. When Omar first sparked an uproar in February for using anti-Semitic tropes to criticize Israel, Trump attempted to suggest all Democrats are “anti-Jewish” and cast Republicans as the only true allies of the Middle Eastern democracy.

House Democratic leaders not only chided Omar for those comments and asked her to apologize, but they worked behind the scenes to assure Jewish voters and Israeli officials that Omar’s criticism did not represent the party as a whole.

Trump doubles down on criticism of Omar, Tlaib

Trump doubles down on criticism of Omar, Tlaib President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his decision to pressure the Israeli government to bar two U.S. Muslim congresswomen from visiting the country, labeling them "anti-Israel.""I'm only involved from the standpoint of they are very anti-Jewish and they're very anti-Israel," Trump said of Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.)."I think it's very disgraceful, the things they've said," Trump continued while speaking to reporters before departing for a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday evening. "They've become the face of the Democrat Party.

Nationals of Israel are refused entry into these 16 countries. (However, Kosovans can enter Serbia with the Kosovo ID card (passports are refused ), according to the Serbia-Kosovo agreements.

member of the United Nations . Israel : The day after the 9/11 attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon condemned the attacks and urged the world to fight terrorism and declared a national day of mourning in solidarity with the United States.[18] To commemorate and honor the victims of terror

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), one of the staunchest supporters of Israel in the House, also made good on a promise to hold a vote on a resolution condemning an anti-Israel boycott — despite strong First Amendment objections from liberals. The measure passed 398 to 17 on July 23, just days before Hoyer led a historically large delegation of freshman Democrats to Israel on a trip to learn about their security situation — another move to emphasize the party’s support for the country.

But now, many hawks on Israel have found themselves in a position of having to release statements criticizing a nation they have long defended.

“This matter is a self-inflicted wound by one of America’s closest allies, one of our closest friends, and a vibrant democracy,” Hoyer said in a Friday statement, his second such remark in about 24 hours. “President Trump’s urging of such action and its implementation were — and are — unacceptable.”

Hoyer, who personally pleaded with Netanyahu on Wednesday to allow Omar and Tlaib entry, went on to rebuke Israel for making Tlaib sign a letter limiting her actions in Israel in order to visit her grandmother in the West Bank. Tlaib ultimately declined to go.

Omar on Friday rebutted Netanyahu’s claim that the group had not requested to meet with any Israeli officials, and she outlined aspects of the itinerary, which included visits to Palestinian areas.

Israel to allow U.S. Rep Tlaib to visit family in West Bank

Israel to allow U.S. Rep Tlaib to visit family in West Bank ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS/USA (URGENT,TV,PIX):Israel to allow U.S. Rep Tlaib to visit family in West Bank

Applause erupted in the room after the draft resolution was passed.CreditCreditJustin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency. A range of senators and congressmen from both parties also denounced the resolution, a reflection of the deep loyalty to Israel shared by Democrats and Republicans.

The two bills will now be reconciled in a conference committee between the House and the Senate, where a contentious debate is expected. Military experts say that even if the efforts to compel women to enlist fails in Congress , the issue is not going away.

“As many of my colleagues have stated in the last 24 hours, we give Israel more than $3 billion in aid every year. This is predicated on their being an important ally in the region, and the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East,” she wrote on Twitter. “Denying visits to duly elected Members of Congress is not consistent with being either an ally or a democracy. We should be leveraging that aid to stop the settlements and ensure full rights for Palestinians.”

A toxic rift opens between Democrats and Israel after the nation refuses entry to two members of Congress© Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock A campaign billboard in Tel Aviv in July shows Netanyahu with Trump.

Numerous Democrats said they worried about the long-term effects of politicizing the U.S.-Israel relationship. In an interview, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a vocal defender of Israel who like Sanders is Jewish, ticked off a range of policy ramifications should some of his colleagues start to view Israel negatively rather than as a strategic ally.

Israel is the greatest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, with the two countries signing a memorandum of understanding in 2016 outlining $38 billion in military aid for the next 10 years. Typically, Congress approves the funds on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis — but with Democrats such as Sanders calling that into question, the future is uncertain.

"This will no doubt have an impact on the debate, on attitudes toward Israel, and on the growing concerns about Israel's actions under Netanyahu's right-wing leadership," said  Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "It's too early to come to conclusions as to where this debate will take us, but certainly aid is an issue that will be discussed."

House Democrats weigh action against US and Israel ambassadors over banned visit

House Democrats weigh action against US and Israel ambassadors over banned visit Senior Democratic members of Congress are considering action against top emissaries of the Israeli government and the Trump administration. Adding to their concern over Dermer’s handling of the congresswomen’s visit, Democrats were further angered after the Israelis released Omar and Tlaib’s planned itinerary and a letter from Tlaib in a public justification of the move. That action raised concerns over whether U.S. lawmakers can trust their communications with Israel’s embassy will remain private going forward.

Most obviously, this will further open the rift between Israel and the Democratic Party. When Democrats defend attacks on the two Congresswomen, Trump uses those If the Israeli government views the opinions of two members of Congress to be so threatening to its fundamental well-being

The escalating tensions between the Republican president and the Republican Congress Overall, the Trump administration is seeking .6 billion for the border wall over the next two fiscal years. 1 unless Congress approves new government spending bills. But in that conflict, the president may

A Pew survey released in April showed that the Israeli government was viewed negatively by 51 percent of Americans, with a sharp division along party lines in which Republicans were positive and Democrats were negative.

Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic, with 71 percent in 2016 voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and 24 percent voting for Trump, according to exit polls.

Trump in 2015 played into Jewish stereotypes, telling the Republican Jewish Coalition “you’re not going to support me, because I don’t want your money.” In 2017, he equated the anti-Semitic marchers in Charlottesville with those who were protesting them, saying there were “very fine people on both sides.” At the same time, Trump is focused on trying to motivate evangelical Christians, who have a deep religious connection to Israel and have long made up a core of Trump’s base.

Many American Jews also have viewed Netanyahu as problematic and oppose some of his policies and his abandonment of a two-state Middle East solution.

“What’s so challenging to Democratic leaders here is they look at what’s happening in Israel and they see the reflection of Trump,” Ben-Ami said. “This is a strategic blunder of epic proportions that Netanyahu and his advisers have made, turning Israel into a branch of the Republican Party. This is a tiny little country in a very bad neighborhood that needs all the friends it can get.”

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Scott Clement contributed to this report.

The Latest: Omar calls on colleagues to visit Israel.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is calling on other members of Congress to visit Israel while she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib cannot. 

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