In a developing story that should rock the world, the President of the United States went on to Twitter, to implore an international ally, to block the planned visit of two sitting United States Congressional Representatives, Rep. Omar and Tlaib.
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
And, to its lasting discredit, it appears that Israel is submitting to Trump’s “request.”
According to Al Jazeera, Israel has indeed blocked entry to the only two Muslim United States congressional representatives.
“The decision has been made, the decision is not to allow them to enter,” Hotovely told Israel’s Reshet Radio on Thursday, shortly after US President Donald Trump warned Tel Aviv against allowing the two Muslim members of his country’s Congress to visit.
Because Trump has demolished all norms, and lost the ability to shock us with any behavior, let’s commit to not normalizing this, and breaking down just how serious a breach in international relations and domestic tranquility, this represents.
A United States president has openly called two sitting U.S. Congressional Representatives anti-Semitic. That alone should earn Donald Trump a reprimand if not impeachment. But, we have seen such racist attacks by Trump before. What we have not seen is a United States president, for purely political reasons, stepping in to request – near order – a United States ally to ban official U.S. representatives from that country, again, for purely political reasons.
How quaint that one truism of US politics used to be that politics ended at the waters’ edge. If Israel had banned Representative Omar and Tlaib because they are Muslim, the president should be discussing sanctions against that nation, should be in an uproar, should be calling the Israeli Ambassador and demanding an explanation. If President Barack Obama had “Tweeted” (as if) that Canada should bar Representative Steve King because he is a disgrace to the United States, I would be furious with President Obama for being so nakedly political.
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been quoted as stating that Representatives Omar and Tlaib should be allowed entry to Israel, that the trip should occur as planned. Though we are no fans of McCarthy, he IS acting in accord with international norms. Let’s acknowledge that portion of the Republican party.
It is outrageous that we stand here today, in a world where Donald Trump feels more aligned with foreign governments who favor him, than United States representatives who challenge him. Of course, it is always about him and that is precisely the problem. We just never knew he would go so far as to essentially order another nation to ban two fine American representatives. Israel relies upon the United States for its security. If any president demands Israel do something, there is tremendous pressure to “do it,” even IF Israel disagreed with that president.
It appears to me like domestic news sources continue to dig into what is really happening here, because there has been little analysis … so far. But it is coming. Andrea Mitchell just came on the air and she is not fooled. She is furious. This is grossly aberrant, highly offensive, deeply disturbing and frighteningly dangerous new ground Trump just stepped into. This is a threat to democracy.
More later. I am sick to my stomach.
Peace, y’all. This is awful.