Aug 16, 2019
In an eloquent and detailed Twitter thread on Friday afternoon, Rep. Ilhan Omar explained what she and her congressional colleague Rep. Rashida Tlaib will no longer be able to do after the Israeli government barred the pair from leading a delegation trip to the country.
Read the thread:
\u201cLet\u2019s be clear: the goal of our trip was to witness firsthand what is happening on the ground in Palestine and hear from stakeholders \u2014our job as Members of Congress. \n \nBut since we were unable to fulfill our role as legislators, I am sharing what we would have seen. (THREAD)\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cFirst, I planned to hold meetings with members of the Knesset (both Jewish and Arab) along with Israeli security officials.\n \nThe claims of @IsraeliPM otherwise are not true.\n \nAs a delegation, we were also were scheduling a meeting with @USAmbIsrael. https://t.co/tazkSiUYkM\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cThen, the delegation was going to receive a briefing on the Bedouin community in East Jerusalem. For decades, Bedouin homes have been bulldozed and communities have been uprooted in order to build settlements on Palestinian land.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cLast year, the Trump Admin announced the U.S. will no longer contribute to the United Nations\u2019 relief agency for Palestinian refugees, threatening the livelihood of millions and violating international law.\nhttps://t.co/lmoXo6ruZB\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cWe then planned to visit Hebron. Once a bustling economic hub, settlement expansion has resulted in a two-tiered city, with Palestinians under military occupation forced to walk on the opposite side of the street from Israelis. https://t.co/UqTzOMb0Hs\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201c77% of shops have closed bc of military occupation. Palestinians walk with garbage nets above their heads, put up to catch trash thrown by settlers. Violent attacks on Palestinians are routine.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cWe were going to receive a tour of the city from @btsisrael, Israeli military veterans who aim to raise awareness about their experiences with the occupation. https://t.co/aEiRnMwWaT\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565975922
\u201cWe planned to visit the separation wall around historic Bethlehem. Only 13% of Bethlehem is now accessible to Palestinian use. \n \nThe wall, built in 2002 against international law, was said at the time to be \u201ctemporary.\u201d \n \nIt still stands. https://t.co/EVftWuvtLe\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976054
\u201cThis was not the first trip of its kind. Last year,@repmarkpocan, @rephankjohnson and others visited with an almost identical itinerary.\n \nOther Members of Congress have done similar trips.\nhttps://t.co/ia2OFlqbg5\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976105
\u201cBut my colleagues and I are not the only ones who are being denied the right to see for themselves the reality on the ground in the West Bank. @OmarSShakir is currently facing deportation for his work with Human Rights Watch. https://t.co/LewHoFiKIo\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976160
\u201cIn 2018, the Netanyahu government refused entry to Katherine Frank and my friend @VinceWarren who had arrived on a mostly-POC human rights mission. https://t.co/P8Exe1mRmN\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976302
\u201cAnd of course, this lack of respect for freedom of movement and freedom of expression is part of the day-to-day lives of Palestinians living in the occupied territories.\nhttps://t.co/ZdIgGQUTZg\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976339
\u201cThough we were unable to witness this firsthand, there are other ways for people to learn about the occupation.\n\nFollow @alhaq_org, @btselem, @amnesty and other groups speaking out about human rights violations.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976414
\u201cFollow @PeterBeinart, who has an excellent piece laying out the realities of the occupation and making the case for more reporting and visits by Members of Congress. https://t.co/W75ycDHK3w\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976445
\u201cAs many of my colleagues have stated in the last 24 hours, we give Israel more than $3 billion in aid every year. This is predicated on their being an important ally in the region, and the 'only democracy' in the Middle East.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976676
\u201cDenying visits to duly elected Members of Congress is not consistent with being either an ally or a democracy. We should be leveraging that aid to stop the settlements and ensure full rights for Palestinians.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1565976735
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