S E E D E D C O N T E N T
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Partnered with Vicious Anti-Semites to Plan Their Trip to Israel
By DAVID FRENCH, National Review, August 16, 2019
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
This should be a national scandal. To the extent that I care at all about Israel blocking entry to two U.S. congresswomen who partner with anti-Semites who seek its destruction, I agree with critics who argue that Bibi Netanyahu should not appear to bow to Donald Trump’s tweeted demands and that blocking Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel handed them a short-term propaganda victory. But that’s not the most important part of the story.
The most important element of the story is the fact that two American congresswomen shunned a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel to go on an independent trip to Israel sponsored by vicious anti-Semites. Another important element of the story is that, as of today, the mainstream media have whitewashed Omar and Tlaib’s vile associations.
Writing yesterday, the Washington Post said that “Omar and Tlaib’s trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank was planned by Miftah , a nonprofit organization headed by Palestinian lawmaker and longtime peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi.” The New York Times described it as an organization “headed by a longtime Palestinian lawmaker.” In its editorial, the New York Times editorial board identified it as a group “that promotes ‘global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.’”
This is a whitewash. Thanks to a Twitter thread from the Washington Examiner’s Seth Mandel — who pointed to multiple additional sources — I started looking at the articles and views published on the Miftah website, and it was like peeling an onion of evil. There was layer upon layer of vile anti-Semitism.
First, the group actually published blood libel , posting an article that accused “the Jews [of using] the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.” When pro-Israel bloggers condemned the article, Miftah first claimed that the attacks against the piece were part of a “ smear campaign ” and minimized the reference to blood libel as merely “briefly addressed.”
It was just a light sprinkling of blood libel. Move along, nothing to see here.
The organization later issued a more complete apology , but we’ve barely gotten started with this vile group. It’s also published an American neo-Nazi treatise called “Who Rules America: The Alien Grip on Our News and Entertainment Media Must Be Broken” ( archived here ).
As Vox ’s Jane Coaston explained , “the original source was National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi group founded in 2005 in Charlottesville by members of the National Alliance.” The National Alliance “was for a time the best financed and best organized white nationalist group in America.” And to give you a sense of its ideology, here are two paragraphs from the treatise:
"The Jew-controlled entertainment media have taken the lead in persuading a whole generation that homosexuality is a normal and acceptable way of life; that there is nothing at all wrong with White women dating or marrying Black men, or with White men marrying Asian women; that all races are inherently equal in ability and character — except that the character of the White race is suspect because of a history of oppressing other races; and that any effort by Whites at racial self-preservation is reprehensible.
We must oppose the further spreading of this poison among our people, and we must break the power of those who are spreading it. It would be intolerable for such power to be in the hands of any alien minority, with values and interests different from our own. But to permit the Jews, with their 3,000-year history of nation-wrecking, from ancient Egypt to Russia, to hold such power over us is tantamount to race suicide. Indeed, the fact that so many White Americans today are so filled with a sense of racial guilt and self-hatred that they actively seek the death of their own race is a deliberate consequence of Jewish media control."
I look forward to hearing apologists argue that these statements are merely critiques of “Israeli policies.”
But that’s not all, not by a long shot. The group celebrates terrorists, including an evil woman who helped murder 13 Israeli children . In an article titled “ Let Us Honor Our Own ,” a Miftah contributor describes Dalal Al Mughrabi as “a Palestinian fighter who was killed during a military operation against Israel in 1978” and as one of the Palestinian people’s “national heroes.”
The so-called “military operation” is more widely known as the “ Coastal Road Massacre ,” a bus hijacking that resulted in the deaths of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.
Al Mughrabi is hardly the only terrorist Miftah celebrates. It described female suicide bomber Wafa Idrees as the “the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause.” It singles out for recognition Hanadi Jaradat, a woman who blew herself up in a restaurant, killing 21 people (including four children).
The founder of Miftah herself, Ms. Ashrawi, excused jihadist violence by telling an interviewer that “you cannot somehow adopt the language of either the international community or the occupier by describing anybody who resists as terrorist.”
And of course Miftah published an article asking whether Israel was a proper homeland for the Jewish people:
Under the heading "Is Israel the Only Possible Homeland for Jews?", this article questioning the appropriateness of Israel as the location of a Jewish homeland was posted by Miftah, one of the sponsors of the proposed Tlaib/Omar visit to Israel: https://t.co/KX1PwrZGy1 pic.twitter.com/eMPOfhopYQ — Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) August 16, 2019
I can keep going, but the evidence above should be sufficient to establish the truth. It would and should be a national scandal if GOP congressmen intended to partner with white nationalists during a visit overseas. It should be a national scandal that members of the American government intended to partner with vicious anti-Semites on their own propaganda tour.
After its thunderous denunciations of Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump, will pundits, editorial boards, and reporters take a look at the scandal hiding in plain sight? Will they hold Tlaib and Omar accountable for their vile associations? Now is a good time to demonstrate their commitment to reporting on the full context of international disputes and exposing one of the world’s oldest hatreds. We shall see how they respond.
DAVID FRENCH is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. @davidafrench