Netanyahu says radical anti-Israel congresswomen are “antithesis to the strong support for Israel” in Washington. The two were among the signatories of letter asking Israeli government to renew visa for Human Rights Watch Israel Director Omar Shakir who is a fierce advocate of the boycott of the Jews. Omar and Tlaib are advocating for the Nazi-inspired boycott of the Jews. Netanyahu’s condemnation is long overdue.
PM rebukes Omar, Tlaib after they request help for BDS activist
Netanyahu says radical anti-Israel congresswomen are “antithesis to the strong support for Israel” in Washington. The two were among the signatories of letter asking Israeli government to renew visa for Human Rights Watch Israel Director Omar Shakir.
by Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayon, June 4,2019:
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a handover ceremony for the new Israeli chief of staff | Photo: AFP/Jack Guez
In a letter sent to U.S. lawmakers on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a strong rebuke of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), saying the two were “the antithesis to the strong support for Israel” on Capitol Hill.
The letter was in response to a letter signed by a group of U.S. Congress members who had asked him to intervene in the case of Omar Shakir, the regional director of Human Rights Watch and an activist in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
Shakir was denied an extension of his visa because he was actively engaged in anti-Israel propaganda during his stay in Israel. The Supreme Court recently issued a temporary injunction to prevent Shakir’s deportation and will make a final ruling in the coming days.
Netanyahu said that he was not going to heed the lawmakers’ request because Shakir had shown “active support for anti-Israel boycotts.”
Netanyahu further stressed that Shakir had failed to demonstrate that he was not using his stay in Israel for propaganda purposes as part of the BDS movement against Israel.
He added that he was “surprised” that two of the lawmakers who joined the request, referring to Tlaib and Omar, were “two BDS supporters.” Omar and Tlaib have come under fire in recent months after making controversial remarks against Israel’s actions and even calling for punishing the Jewish state. Omar has recently become embroiled in controversy after some of her tweets were deemed anti-Semitic.
Netanyahu did not mention the two by name but made it obvious that he was referring to them.
Netanyahu further wrote: “The existence of a strong and vibrant civil society is a fundamental component of any healthy democracy. We are proud of the fact that thousands of nongovernmental organizations … operate in Israel uninterruptedly, exercising their right to freedom of speech. Our concern, however, is with those organizations and/or individuals that under the banner of justice and human rights actively work to delegitimize the State of Israel and negate its very right to exist.”
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