Opinion

Surrender or Leave: Israel’s Inexorable Missive to Rashida Tlaib as a Teaching Moment on Palestine

By Fadi Quran & Noura Erakat

When Israel decided to ban entry to US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in August 2019, it created a political buzz across the United States. In Palestine, it was barely met with a shrug. In fact, those who were on Tlaib and Omar’s busy meeting agenda, including the authors of this piece, had already prepared contingency plans in the event that the US representatives were detained at Ben Gurion airport and deported. While President Trump’s brazen urging of this ban and his politically opportunistic attacks on the only two Muslim women in Congress shocked and incensed mainstream liberals, Israel’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar was historically consistent with its policies toward Palestinians and those who criticize Israeli policies.

Because President Trump and the white supremacists who exalt him like to hail Israel as a model of “European sovereignty,” the banning offers a necessary corrective to illusions that Israel is a beacon of democracy. Banning two democratically elected representatives of Israel’s closest ally makes clear that militarized nationalism, not democracy, prevails. This is a learning moment.

When Israel decided to ban entry to US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in August 2019, it created a political buzz across the United States. In Palestine, it was barely met with a shrug. In fact, those who were on Tlaib and Omar’s busy meeting agenda, including the authors of this piece, had already prepared contingency plans in the event that the US representatives were detained at Ben Gurion airport and deported. While President Trump’s brazen urging of this ban and his politically opportunistic attacks on the only two Muslim women in Congress shocked and incensed mainstream liberals, Israel’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar was historically consistent with its policies toward Palestinians and those who criticize Israeli policies.

Because President Trump and the white supremacists who exalt him like to hail Israel as a model of “European sovereignty,” the banning offers a necessary corrective to illusions that Israel is a beacon of democracy. Banning two democratically elected representatives of Israel’s closest ally makes clear that militarized nationalism, not democracy, prevails. This is a learning moment.

Source: Jadaliyya

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