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The Israeli Ban of Reps. Omar and Tlaib is Undemocratic and Short-Sighted 

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The Israeli Ban of Reps. Omar and Tlaib is Undemocratic and Short-Sighted 

August 15, 2019 – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed its extreme disappointment that the Netanyahu government of Israel barred US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from entering Israel. NCJW CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement:   

“NCJW is outraged by the anti-democratic instincts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump which have culminated today in the rejection of Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entry to IsraelOpen debate and the robust exchange of ideas, even those one keenly opposes, are crucial to a thriving democracy.  

There is a vigorous civil society in Israel that is working hard to fight anti-democratic measures. We will continue to support these efforts– the kind which we depend upon in the United States to protect our own civil liberties. Although NCJW does not support the global BDS movement – whose views these congresswomen have shared – we strongly support the open expression of all non-violent ideas. 

Israel had expressed last month that Reps. Omar and Tlaib would be allowed entry. If, as seems to be the case, the Israeli government’s change of heart was made in response to requests by President Donald Trump, this will only further politicize support for Israel.  When Israel welcomes all leaders to see close up the complexities of Israeli society, it can only strengthen democracy and bring us closer to the solutions we so desperately need for peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians.” 

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW. 

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