Israeli Group Petitions to Block Ilhan Omar Visit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar. (Photo: via Facebook)

Notorious Israel advocacy group Shurat HaDin has filed a petition to an Israeli court to see US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar barred from visiting Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).

The group filed the petition to Israel’s Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday to demand that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri ban Omar from entering the country on the grounds that she supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Under an Israeli law passed in 2017, any non-Israeli who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel” can be prevented from entering the country or obtaining a residency or work visa. The law can, however, be waivered for diplomatic reasons.

The Minnesota congresswoman announced earlier this month that she and Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan congresswoman of Palestinian descent, would visit Israel and the oPt.

Although speculation that the pair could be prevented from entering the country quickly spread, Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, confirmed that they would not be refused entry into Israel “out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America”.

Now Shurat HaDin is working to ensure the visit does not go ahead, submitting evidence it claims demonstrates that Omar supports BDS and therefore should not be allowed to enter. Among this evidence is US President Donald Trump’s recent demand that Omar and other members of “the squad” – a group of four female progressive Democrats – should apologize to Israel for the “terrible things they have said”.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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