Israel’s denial of entry to US representatives provides opportunity to question the US role providing aid to Israel.
By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | Aug 21, 2019
BDS and curtailing U.S. aid to Israel have been controversial for years. But as Israel grows ever more authoritarian, these ideas become more and more reasonable as responses.
This week, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar held a press conference to offer their views on Israel’s ban against them entering Palestine. Perhaps the most important news coming out of the event was Omar’s demand that the U.S. withhold part of all of the $30-billion offered to Israel by the Obama administration as it sought to bribe Israel to soft-pedal its opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
Obama was suckered by the Israelis, who took the money and still opposed the deal. Obama was furthered humiliated when the Israeli eventually go their way and Pres. Trump torpedoed the deal entirely.
But I’m afraid the last laugh may be on Israel if Omar has anything to say about it. Already, Bernie Sanders has spoken out publicly with the same sentiment. Though he has not spoken as forcefully, he has said that this aid should not be given carte blanche to Israel. But rather should be made contingent on Israeli cooperation with a peace process and easing the Occupation.
I also look forward to the time when a Democratic president can repay Israel’s “kindness” to Omar and Tlaib. Almost every minister in the current Israeli cabinet has either engaged in corruption, homophobia, Islamophobia, or even acts of outright terrorism. There is far more justification for banning Israeli politicians from these shores than there was for Israel to ban Omar and Tlaib. I’m looking for a little–what-goes-around-comes-around.