Common Dreams - August 15, 2019

"We must stand together against those who promote hatred and racism in Israel, Palestine, the U.S. and everywhere."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

Anger over Israel's barring of Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from the country dominated the news on Thursday as progressive politicians, groups, and commentators joined together to condemn the decision. 

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent and still has family living in the Occupied West Bank, planned to lead a congressional delegation into the territories controlled by the Israeli military this Saturday to show lawmakers the human cost of funding the ongoing occupation.

But the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked that trip, and any others that the two would like to make, with Thursday's decision. In a tweet featuring a photo of her grandmother, Talib explained what that ruling means for her family. 

"This woman right here is my sity," tweeted Tlaib. "She deserves to live in peace and with human dignity. I am who I am because of her."

"The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness," Tlaib continued, "because the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening."

One of the stated reasons for the ban is Tlaib and Omar's support for the nonviolent resistance movement known as BDS—Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—that aims to target the Israeli state for its repressive policies through tactics that worked against apartheid South Africa. 

The BDS movement responded to the Israeli decision on Thursday with a statement that condemned "the far-right Israeli government's McCarthyite decision to prevent Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar from visiting the Occupied Palestinian Territory over their support for Palestinian freedom."

"We call for cutting US military aid to Israel," the group added. ...
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