Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were barred from visiting Israel, and the New York Times was not pleased. An editorial on Friday had an anti-Israel slant and a whitewash of the anti-Semitic nonprofit co-sponsoring the trip, along with a helpful link to their website:
The visit Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib were contemplating was not to Israel proper, but to the West Bank, where they were to visit Hebron, Ramallah and Bethlehem, as well as Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, on a trip co-sponsored by a Palestinian organization, Miftah, that promotes “global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.”
But wait, the Times has run ads saying the truth has never been more important. Iconoclastic Times editorial writer Bari Weiss was more damningly accurate in her description of the sponsor Miftah (founded by Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi), and her explanatory link went not to the group's official website but to an article from a conservative journal The Free Beacon, explaining the point she made. Weiss wrote:
The rest of the sordid details of their trip leave no illusions about its purpose. It was, according to the Israeli government, being underwritten by Miftah, an organization that has proudly praised female suicide bombers and pushed the medieval blood libel.
The banner headline over Saturday’s two lead stories, neither of which mentined Miftah, was: “Trump and Netanyahu Put Bipartisan Support at Risk.” That led to a “news analysis” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg with the magical "could."
By pushing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel into barring an official visit by the first two Muslim women in Congress, President Trump is doubling down on a strategy aimed at dividing the Democratic Party and pushing some Jewish voters into the arms of Republicans.
But people in both parties warn that over the long term, the president could further erode bipartisan support for Israel, which has long relied on the United States as its most important ally.
He has also marched in lock step with Mr. Netanyahu, who faces legislative elections in a few weeks. Mr. Netanyahu’s hard-line settlement policies and rigid bond with ultra-Orthodox Jews have also alienated Democrats, including many American Jews, posing a threat to the bipartisanship that has been fundamental to the two countries’ relationship since Israel’s founding in 1948.
The paper has made that same tiresome “lockstep” charge before.
Stolberg tried to warn off Israel from offending the Democratic Party. More of the "could."
If Israel becomes a partisan issue in the United States, advocates warn that there could be negative consequences for both countries. Israel’s security would be severely undermined without the political, economic and military support that flows from bipartisan backing in Washington. And if Israel is weakened, so too is the United States’ position in the Middle East, which is always stronger when both parties are behind it.
She eventually got to why Israel might not be fond of letting Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib in for anti-Israel propagandizing.
Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, known as B.D.S. After Ms. Omar criticized AIPAC in remarks that were widely construed as anti-Semitic, Democratic leaders called on her to apologize -- she did -- and the House later passed a resolution condemning hatred of any kind.
The other front-page story was from Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger, “Worries in Israel and U.S. as Tlaib Says No to a Visit.”
Israel relented slightly on Friday after barring Representative Rashida Tlaib under pressure from President Trump, and said she could visit her 90-year-old grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank.
Israel acted after Ms. Tlaib, an outspoken Palestinian-American in her first term, agreed in writing not to promote boycotts against Israel during the trip. But Ms. Tlaib, facing criticism by Palestinians and other opponents of the Israeli occupation, quickly reversed course herself, saying she could not make the trip under “these oppressive conditions.”
Israelis concerned about the health of the relationship with the United States worried aloud on Friday that by barring members of Congress at all, let alone because of their political views, the Netanyahu government had gravely jeopardized Israel’s bipartisan support in Washington.
That would imply that Omar and Tlaib’s position on Israel is popular in the Democratic caucus; actual votes suggest otherwise. But Halbfinger also declared the anti-Israel left the winner:
About the only interested party appearing to have emerged in better shape was the B.D.S. movement itself, which declared that “attempts by Israel’s far-right regime to humiliate @RashidaTlaib failed.”
National Review’s David French has more on the disgusting beliefs of Miftah, a beneficiary of what he called a whitewash by the mainstream media of “Omar and Tlaib’s vile associations” with the Palestinian nonprofit.