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Fri Aug 23, 2019, 11:26 AM


The recent controversial non-visit by US Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib provided many people with a platform to discuss the implications of what happened. But what if these two would-be visitors had come? Would we be as insightful on that score? And which would have been worse for Israel?

The widespread sentiment expressed was that Israel erred in not inviting the two Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters. The reasons ranged from our being “bigger” than those who dislike us, to our having opened a Pandora’s Box of partisan recrimination against us; recrimination for not honoring congressional representatives, and even worse, for capitulating to President Donald Trump’s none-too-subtle exhortation that they should not be allowed in.

AIPAC was upset because the women are congresswomen, and all members of Congress are fair game for AIPAC to expose to Israel. Its mission, after all, is to keep support for Israel a bipartisan axiom in Congress.

Others thought that Israel looked small, petty and as if it had something to hide. Still others thought that Israel had been outmaneuvered into showing itself as ultimately not being so open and democratic after all.

These were fairly immediate reactions. They were expressed before the “Grandmother Incident,” in which Interior Minister Arye Deri said he would grant, as a humanitarian gesture, an invitation for Rep. Tlaib to visit her grandmother in a Palestinian village in Judea and Samaria if the congresswoman would agree to refrain from any BDS activities while here.


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