Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 16, 2019

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Legislative Round-Up,

With a compendium of responses to Israel’s decision to ban Representatives Tlaib and Omar from entering the country for a congressional delegation.

U.S.-Israeli Relations

Trump and Netanyahu Just Broke the Special Relationship Between America and Israel,

David Rothkopf writes, “Make no mistake about it, while Trump’s motivation was in part political, it was also motivated by the racist animus that drives Trumpism in the U.S. and, as it happens, shapes the ethno-nationalist views of Netanyahu and his extreme-right wing supporters in Israel.”

Will Israel's treatment of Omar and Tlaib finally wake Democrats up?,

“The ‘humanitarian’ permit means the complete de-politicizing of Tlaib. She will no longer be visiting as a political leader, a U.S. congresswoman enjoying freedom of movement. For Israel, Tlaib has now been ‘demoted’ to the position of all Palestinians who need to beg for Israel’s mercy, as the all-powerful occupier of their land, in order to travel, work, study, or simply reunite with loved ones.”

Trump and Netanyahu help each other erode democratic norms by barring Reps. Tlaib, Omar,

Debra Shushan writes, “If there is a positive upshot to any of this, it may be that the denial of entry to Tlaib and Omar could highlight to the American public one of the consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Since Israel controls entry to the West Bank, Tlaib cannot visit her grandmother and other family there without the permission of the Israeli government. If that helps to spark American opposition to Israel’s 52-year occupation of territories it conquered in the 1967 war, which the Israeli right-wing cares more about extending than breaking the BDS movement, that is a good thing.”

By Barring Omar and Tlaib, Netanyahu Did BDS a Huge Favor,

Eric Levitz writes, “It’s hard to imagine a better way of hardening young, nonwhite Democrats’ skepticism toward Israel than prohibiting two of America’s most prominent nonwhite Democratic politicians from visiting the country. Which is to say: On Thursday, Trump and Bibi did more to aid the BDS movement (and less radical allies of the Palestinian cause) than Omar and Tlaib’s trip ever could.”

Israel Approves Rashida Tlaib Petition to Enter 'On Humanitarian Grounds' to Visit Grandmother,

“In a letter she sent to Interior Minister Arye Dery, Tlaib wrote that she is requesting approval to visit Israel ‘in order to visit relatives, especially my grandmother who is in her nineties, and lives in Beit Ur al-Fauqa. This may be my last opportunity to see her.'”

Netanyahu Banned Omar And Tlaib Because The Occupation Must Be Hidden To Survive,

Peter Beinart writes, “We must find creative ways of showing other Americans what we see there. And we must make it unacceptable for Democrats to continue to visit Israel with AIPAC—as 41 did last week—and thus sustain the cocoon that keeps Americans comfortably ignorant about Palestinian suffering. When journalists start asking Democratic politicians why they visited Israel without visiting Hebron or Khan al-Ahmar, and why they met Benjamin Netanyahu without meeting Issa Amro or Fadi Quran, then the cocoon will start to crack.”

Occupation, Annexation, & Human Rights

Lose the Evidence, Close the Case Twice: How a Palestinian's Complaint Was Handled,

“The state admitted that the Israeli police mishandled a Palestinian’s complaint that a settlement’s road-building work in the West Bank damaged his land, but claimed too much time has elapsed to reopen the case.”

Rashida Tlaib's family disappointed but not surprised by Israeli ban,

Reached on Thursday afternoon, Tlaib’s uncle Bassam told MEE that the family had not told Muftiya yet about the ban issued against Tlaib, fearing it would affect the elderly woman’s health. ‘We aren’t surprised by the decision,’ he said. ‘We were expecting that the occupation would forbid her entry to Palestine at any moment.'”