Gantz: Netanyahu's zigzagging on Tlaib hurt Israel

Politicians further to the Left also blasted the decision.

August 17, 2019 17:37
2 minute read.
Gantz: Netanyahu's zigzagging on Tlaib hurt Israel

Tension was evident between Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of the Knesset’s new session on April 30. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of causing harm to Israel in his handling of the cancelled visits of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

He made the statement before Tlaib decided not to accept Israel's conditions for coming to Israel on a humanitarian basis to visit her grandmother. Gantz said that Netanyahu put his own campaign ahead of the good of the country.
"Netanyahu's zigzagging with respect to granting entry to Israel to members of the United States Congress reflects an ongoing lack of coherent policy," Gantz said. "The decision to refuse entry to Israel caused damage internationally. Though we are talking about two members of Congress with radical and incomprehensibly anti-Israel views, the decision to refuse their entry – which was guided by considerations surrounding the upcoming election – not only goes against our national interest, but also fuels the BDS movement. The subsequent decision to grant Congresswoman Tlaib entry to Israel on humanitarian grounds is the right and necessary step toward lessening the flames sparked by Netanyahu in Israel-US relations."

Politicians further to the Left also blasted the decision.

Democratic Union Knesset candidate Stav Shaffir said that, "Israel with a smart foreign policy would open its doors to Congresswomen who have positions we disagree with and make sure their visit shows them the complexity of the conflict. Bibi's Israel slams the door shut and gives the BDS a gift, which in return gives Bibi what he wants: fear+isolation."

Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman, who was due to meet the Congresswomen, said she would meet them elsewhere.

“Netanyahu and Trump are like twins," she wrote. "Both of them built their political power using incitement against representatives of minorities. This is true of Trump’s attacks against Omar, Tlaib and other representatives of color, and of Netanyahu’s treatment of the Arab citizens of Israel and their Knesset representatives. Netanyahu’s decision to ban the congresswomen, on the behalf of his ally Trump, is another stain on Israel's right-wing government. Netanyahu is afraid of these two brave women who represent the international consensus against the Israeli occupation."

Likud MK Nir Barkat, supported Netanyahu's decision, writing to Tlaib and Omar on Twitter that their views do not belong in Israel.

"Instead of striving for peace and coexistence between Jews and Arabs, you have chosen a policy of hatred and boycott," Barkat wrote. "With attitudes like those, you will never be welcomed here."

He tweeted to Tlaib that her refusal of Israel's terms proved her real intentions, which he said were "to use your 90-year-old grandmother to wage political war calling for Israel's destruction and boycott."
Barkat urged Tlaib to "take your hatred, fanaticism and bigotry to places like Iran and Syria, which you so admire. We have no interest in welcoming terrorist supporters here."


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