Israeli ban on US congresswomen an affront to the American people: NGO

RAMALLAH, The Israeli government’s decision to ban United States Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Palestine is an affront to the American people and their representatives, today said the Ramallah-based non-governmental organization MIFTAH, the Palestinian Initiative for Global Dialogue and Democracy.

“It is an assault on the Palestinian people’s right to reach out to decision-makers and other actors from around the world,” it said in a statement as a sponsor of the two US congresswomen’s trip.

“MIFTAH worked hard to organize a well-rounded visit for Congresswomen Tlaib, Omar, and (Congresswoman Stacey) Palskett, in order to facilitate their engagement with Palestinian civil society and to provide them with an opportunity to see the reality of occupation for themselves. This is their right and duty as members of Congress, who oversee US policies and actions that affect Palestine, Israel, and countries worldwide,” it said.

“Like all prolific human rights abusers, Israel wants to impose a blackout on the reality in occupied Palestine and prevent Congresswomen Tlaib, Omar from having direct contact with the Palestinian people, who are subject to Israel’s cruel regime of colonization, oppression, and land grab. Meanwhile, Israel has welcomed (the pro-Israel lobby in Washington) AIPAC-organized and funded visits of nearly 80 members of Congress to the region this week. This ban is a clear case of discrimination and hostility based on political views and ethnic background, deserving of moral indignation and unequivocal condemnation in Palestine and the United States.”

Israel has officially decided today to ban the US congresswomen from proceeding with a plan to visit Palestine, which has to go through Israel since Palestine is under Israeli occupation and does not have control over its borders.

The ban decision was widely condemned at home and abroad, also in Washington by US lawmakers.

The newly-elected Muslim Democratic members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and support the global boycott movement against Israel, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Tlaib was born in Detroit after her parents, former residents of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, immigrated to the US. Omar was born in Somalia and immigrated to the US at a young age and became a naturalized American citizen.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency