Rep. Tlaib, Omar, and the 'Three Nos'

Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) have made headlines this week after being denied entry into Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Tlaib's entry ban was overturned so she could visit her family, who live in the West Bank, but she has since changed her mind and will not be visiting.  This doesn't stop the criticism from flowing, which only highlights how unfair the Left's talking points are.  The misperception that Netanyahu is just being rude out of spite or racism forecloses the opportunity to discuss the core of the conflict.  This issue is squarely about Reps. Omar's and Tlaib's support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, known as BDS.

Many have criticized the Israeli law passed in 2017 that allows barring advocates of BDS from entry into the country, including an assortment of 2020 presidential candidates.  Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) took a swipe at the defense aid deal between the United States and Israel.  Senator Elizabeth Warren noted on Twitter that "Israel doesn't advance its case as a tolerant democracy" by preventing the entry of these two congresswomen.

But to look at only Israel's policies in this dilemma is only half the equation.  Rep. Tlaib and Omar had a predetermined schedule that shows they didn't intend to meet with any Israel officials whatsoever.  They refused to meet P.M. Netanyahu, anyone in his Cabinet, or his political opposition in the Knesset.  Reps. Omar and Tlaib were only going to the Middle East to advance the BDS movement.

The BDS movement isn't a civil rights advocacy group.  Many Americans, including many who support Israel, think boycotts are simply a free-market tool for peaceful protest.  That may very well be true in the U.S., but the BDS movement goes beyond that.  The goal isn't, and never has been, to change internal policies in Israel.  Reps. Omar and Tlaib both know this.  The BDS movement doesn't care how the people living within Israeli borders are treated, as their welfare has never been their priority.  Sure, they have used the Israeli news cycle to their advantage by pointing out various issues that come with any diverse community.  But solving internal issues has never been the main goal of the BDS movement.

It's about ending Israel as a nation.  So let's call the boycott of Israel what it really is: an attempt at economic strangulation.

The BDS movement started with the Khartoum Resolution of 1967.  Following Israel's miraculous victory in the Six-Day War, the Arab League came together in Khartoum to implement a new strategy to defeat the Jewish State, since clearly the military option was an utter failure.  The Khartoum Resolution didn't change the objective of destroying Israel, only the method of completing that goal.  This is obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of the conflict.  Rather than using a standing army, the Arab League transitioned into economic warfare as a new means to achieving the same end.

Proponents of the Khartoum Resolution point to the fact that it specifically mentions the goal of forcing Israel to withdraw from land it has controlled since June 5, 1967.  Since Israel existed before 1967, they would argue that the goal of the Khartoum Resolution isn't to eliminate all of Israel.  That argument is intentionally misleading.  The violence that began on June 5 was purely due to the Arab militaries (which surround Israel) preparing to invade.  The goal from the get-go has been, and continues to be, the elimination of the entire Jewish nation.

The Khartoum Resolution established the "Three Nos" that spawned the BDS movement.  They said, "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."  Reps. Omar and Tlaib are living the Three Nos.  No peace is an obvious one.  Their refusal to recognize Israel is also rather blatant: their itinerary was titled "U.S. Congressional Delegation to Palestine," a country that doesn't exist.  They make no mention of Israel despite traveling throughout it.  And lastly, their refusal to negotiate.  They want the benefits of Israel's Westernized culture and privileges but refuse to speak to any Israelis.  That's simply not very diplomatic for a congressional delegation.

Israel has every right to ban anyone who supports economic warfare from entering it — especially if such people are entering the Israelis' country with the primary goal of advancing the BDS movement.  It is clear now more than ever that America must stand with Israel against the BDS movement and economic warfare.

Graphic via Wikipedia.