When one gets to a certain age, the blame game become immature and a waste of time. It takes an adult to see that. Unfortunately, not all of us who are grown act like adults.
In the latest twist in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) blamed Israel for the honor killing of Israa Gharib. Her crime is that she was fraternizing with a man outside the bonds of marriage. In her world, this was a crime for which the only punishment is death. The men accused of killing her are her father and brothers.
I agree with Rep. Tlaib that toxic masculinity was responsible for Ms. Gharib’s death. She was not seen by the men closest to her as a flesh and blood creature with thoughts, feelings, ambitions, dreams and flaws. She was seen as an object to be used and sold in the name of marriage.
However, the blame for her death lands solely in the lap of her father and brothers. It has nothing to do with Israel.
The sooner Rep. Tlaib and the rest of the Israel haters recognize that, the sooner we will get to a legit and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one that can be construed as simple or complicated, depending on one’s point of view.
While I certainly recognize the shades of grey in this conflict, my perspective is that Israel is trying to defend herself and her people from neighbors who would love to her wiped off the face of the Earth. The BDS movement is just one of those complicating factors that makes this issue even murkier.
Aside from the implications for our political future, this statement I believe speaks the truth. It is a truth that many either refuse to hear or if they hear it, refuse to believe.
Speaking of Israel, the ban on Reps Tlaib and Omar entering the country last week were lifted after a fair amount of controversy. Representative Tlaib decided to turn down the invitation and not visit her grandmother. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was kid, my grandparents were my world. They are all long gone, there are days when I wish I could still see them and talk to them.
Others have said and I agree that she hates Israel more than she loves her grandmother. If I was in her shoes, I would be on the next flight out. Family is more important than politics will ever be.
I wish there was a way out of this conflict. I wish both sides would see each other as fellow human beings, instead of labels and political/historical baggage. But wishes don’t often become reality.
There is nothing like a first hand experience to change hearts and minds. But unless one has that experience, it is unknown if hearts and minds can be changed.
Over the years, Israel has been a regular destination for members of the United States Congress. She has also experienced more than her fair share of criticism, prejudice, lies and half truths.
The latest news regarding Israel is that Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) have been banned from visiting the Jewish state with their colleagues.
The reason, as per the Israeli press is as follows: “Israel has decided. We won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Kan News. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle, this is a very justified decision.”
This decision, in short, is a huge mistake. While I disagree with both Representatives’s opinion of Israel, I also strongly disagree with this ban.
I want Representatives Omar and Tlaib to see the Israel that I know and love. My Israel is a beautiful, thriving and vibrant democracy. My Israel is a land that is both ancient and modern. My Israel is a nation in which one can walk in the footsteps of the Bible while experiencing modern technological breakthroughs.
Like any nation, Israel has her fair share of problems. However, she deserves to be seen for what she is without relying on momentary news bites or flashy headlines.
I believe that it would be a wise decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to lift the ban. But that may not happen and if it is does not, I am concerned that it may negatively impact both the United States and Israel for years to come.
There is an old saying: Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
I firmly believe that this saying not only applies to an issue on the personal level, but it also applies to an issue on a political or cultural level.
Israel has been one of the go to countries for American politicians to visit over the years. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) will be the latest American politicians to visit Israel, in spite of their openly antisemitic and anti-Israel comments.
When it comes these two members of Congress, I have to admit that I have two distinct feelings. I was appalled by you know who’s comments on Twitter last weekend. These women, both as citizens and members of the political class, have every right to speak their minds. However, I was hurt and disgusted by their public statements regarding Israel and the Jews in general.
Israel, like any country is imperfect, both at the government level and the personal level. This country, like all other countries, must face head on the racism that exists within her borders.
That being said, I have been to Israel twice in my life. I saw a country like my own. I saw a multi-cultural country in which most citizens (hopefully) don’t care about the religion or background of their fellow citizen. They just go about their business.
I challenge anyone who believes that Israel is an apartheid state to visit Israel. Ignore, for a short time, what the peanut gallery is saying. Make a decision based on what you are seeing, thinking and feeling.
I am not in the minds of Reps Tlaib or Omar. Nor can I influence what they are thinking or feelings. But I can hope and wish that their visit opens their eyes and convinces them to see the truth about Israel.
There are some people in this country who still believe that the United States is a white, Christian nation. According to these people, anyone who does not fit into both of those categories is either ineligible to be an American or is only fit to be labeled as a second class citizen.
Among these people is the President of the United States.
Over the weekend, he tweeted the following statement about four Democratic Congresswomen: go back to where you came from. The targets of this tweet were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). All four of them are freshman members of Congress and women of color. The incorrect irony of his tweet is that three of the four targeted Congresswomen are natural born American citizens. Ilhan Omar is the only one who was actually born in another country and immigrated as a child. She has been a citizen for nearly twenty years.
The truth of America’s history is that we have always been a multi-cultural nation. Unfortunately, that truth has been hidden to ensure that only a small minority have access to the American dream. Due to decades of hard work and soul searching, we have finally started to open the door to those who have been systematically disenfranchised and make amends for our collective sins.
The question now is, where do we, as a nation go from here? Do we let this racist used car salesman drag us back into the past? Or do we continue to walk the high road and work toward the ideal society that our founding fathers created when they broke from the British over 200 years ago?
For the nearly twenty years that I have been able to vote, I have voted mostly Democrat. My family has been also voting along the Democratic lines for as long as I can remember.
I hate to say it, but I may have to rethink my political affiliation. Earlier today, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) made some comments regarding Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are not only historically inaccurate, but they also have the capacity to inflame what is already a dangerous conflict. During the interview, she stated the following:
“There’s kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right, and it was forced on them,” she said.
There are a number of inaccuracies that I would like correct the Representative on.
The origin of the name Palestine comes from the Greeks who conquered ancient Israel and changed the name to prevent future generations from identifying Israel as their homeland.
When Israel was declared to be an independent state, Arab leaders at the time promised a quick and easy war to remove the Jews and establish a new Arab state. The war did not go as planned. Meanwhile, no one talks about the Jews who were living in Muslim countries and had to leave everything behind to stay alive.
I am the first to admit that the actions of the Israeli government are not always perfect. I am the first to agree that there is racism is Israel, as there is everywhere in the world. But it is the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East, where all citizens are treated equally.
I don’t want to have to change my political party. I have no doubt that antisemitism exists in the Republican and Independent parties. But the fact is that if the Democrats do not excise this wound, they may lose the 2020 election. The last thing I want is to have you know who win another four years in office.
P.S. If you are interested in additional reading, Liel Leibovitz’s excellent article in Tablet Magazine hits the nail on the head.
Yesterday, Freshman Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) received wide-spread condemnation about her dual loyalty comment in regards to the supporters of Israel in Congress.
While it is about time that the members of Congress accurately represent the multi-cultural country that America is, I disagree with Representative Tlaib with every fiber of my being.
This accusation (from my perspective) is far too similar to the Blood Libels of the past, accusing Jews of not being entirely loyal to the nations that they call home.
The fact is that time and again over the past 71 years, Israel has come to the table, ready, willing and able to make peace with their neighbors. The response at best is a slap in the face and at worst is outrageous demands that will never allow real peace to come to fruition.
The result of this denial of peace is generations of hate, needless slaughter and destruction that could have been prevented a long time ago. Not that the Israeli government is perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but peace cannot and will never happen if one side continually advocates hate, murder and destruction of their neighbor.
When dynamics shift in government and a new party or leader takes control, the party or leader that was previously in control has to get used to change, whether they like it or not.
Earlier this week, the new members of Congress were sworn in and already, there is controversy.
Members of the GOP are in uproar because a video new Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) dancing was released to social media. One commentator on Twitter labelled it as a high school-ish behavior. The irony of their social media pearls clutching moment is that the video was made when she was in high school.
The night after Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) was sworn in, made the following comment to her supporters, expletive included:
“And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t,’ because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—–.”
While I would love to see you know who gone from office, I think that the Democratic leadership should not solely be focusing on impeachment, especially with the 2020 election not too far off. If they are to win the election next fall, they have to win the hearts and minds of the voters, especially those who still believe in you know who. By solely focusing on impeachment, this continues to prove that theory that they are out to take him down and therefore drive voters to support/vote for him.
The thing that I realize about this topic is that these women make the GOP nervous. They are minority women of color who are representing their communities for the first time and the GOP who are traditionally Caucasian, male, Christian and straight cannot get their heads around that fact.
America is changing. Those who have traditionally held power are no longer solely in charge and they have no way of handling except for shaming and ridicule.