Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barred Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel. This is an about-face of enormous proportions, since Israel has been inveigling US politicians to come to Israel for decades, in hopes of propagandizing on the Israeli point of view. The US is thought to have given Israel over $100 billion over the years, and still gives $3 bn a year (much more if you count tariff abatements and forms of technological transfer).
Netanyahu maintains that the two representatives had planned to use their visit to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. Both are members of the Democratic Socialists of America, a caucus within the Democratic Party, which takes the stance that a boycott should be launched against Israel to force it to cease usurping Palestinian land and to force it to give Palestinians the right to have citizenship in a state– whether an independent state, or in Tlaib’s case, Israel itself.
Note that this campaign does not target Israel but rather Israeli oppression of 5 million Palestinians, whom it denies basic rights of citizenship.
I wrote on another occasion:
“Supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel are protesting the continued Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, the illegal Israeli blockade on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and the system of land theft and denial of basic human rights imposed by Israel, which has become a form of Apartheid or in American terms, Jim Crow.
They might also be protesting the formal Israeli government policy of shooting down unarmed protesters with snipers who gather on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border to protest the boycott and blockade that Israel has imposed on them. Israeli snipers have killed hundreds of these protesters in the past two years and wounded thousands, often maiming them for life. The Israeli boycott of Gaza means that the victims of these war crimes cannot get good medical treatment in Gaza; Israel often won’t let them be treated elsewhere, and so they lose limbs that might otherwise have been saved. The US press often mischaracterizes all this as “clashes” at the border, but extensive video and photographic evidence demonstrates that Israeli snipers are shooting down people who pose no danger to anyone, including sometimes medics, journalists, children, and unarmed women and men.
If any other country behaved this way, Congress itself would impose a boycott on it.