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Minnesota Democrats condemn Netanyahu’s ban of Omar from Israel

Rep. Ilhan Omar
REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
Rep. Ilhan Omar: “It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government.”

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would prohibit Reps. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the first two Muslim women in congress, from entering the country.

Barely an hour after the President Donald Trump’s press secretary said it would be “inaccurate” to say Trump influenced Israel barring the congresswomen, the president made a statement on Twitter: “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” he said in part. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people.”

Omar’s Democratic colleagues — and Omar herself — strongly condemned Netanyahu’s decision and Trump.

Rep. Dean Phillips, who represents Minnesota’s Third District and is Jewish, said in a statement that Netanyahu’s decision was entirely inappropriate.

“I am appalled by Israel’s decision to bar entry to sitting members of the United States Congress. This action sets a damaging precedent for a free and democratic nation and our most important ally in the region. It will harm Israel’s standing among Americans and the entire free world, and sacrifices an opportunity to build bridges of understanding. I urge Israel’s leaders to reverse this dangerous decision immediately.”


Rep. Angie Craig, of the Second District, echoed Phillips’ statement:

“The decision to ban members of Congress from visiting Israel goes against our shared values of freedom and democracy and sets a dangerous precedent going forward,” said Craig. “Every member of Congress should have the opportunity to visit Israel — this decision must be reversed.”

Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota’s Fourth District and has been one of Israel’s most consistent critics in Congress, said that Trump did not want Tlaib and Omar to “witness first-hand the brutality & dehumanization Israel’s occupation inflicts on the Palestinian people. This bigoted president is working to extend his Muslim travel ban to Members of Congress.”

A tweet from President Donald Trump encouraging Israel not to allow Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel for a visit.
REUTERS/Jim Bourg
A tweet from President Donald Trump encouraging Israel not to allow Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel for a visit.
Seventh District Rep. Colin Peterson made no public statements and could not be reached for comment. At the time of publication, none of the three Republicans in the Minnesota congressional delegation could be reached for comment. One of the Republicans, Rep. Pete Stauber of the Eighth District, recently visited Israel.

Omar herself responded in a statement several hours after the Israeli Prime Minister made his announcement.

“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government,” she said in a statement following the decision. “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress.”

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Comments (53)

  1. Submitted by Mark Voorhees on 08/15/2019 - 03:24 pm.

    I totally agree with Omar. My first thought was the White House told Israel not to allow them to enter. Omar going to Israel would be nothing more than a win/win for Israel and Omar because only good could come out of it.

  2. Submitted by John Evans on 08/15/2019 - 04:07 pm.

    It would show great weakness if the United States sent $3,800,000,000 of taxpayers’ money to a country that will not allow our sitting elected representatives to visit.

  3. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/15/2019 - 05:19 pm.

    Well, I guess Israel see’s itself as a branch of the Republican party.

    This represents a change from 72 years of seeing itself as an apolitical ally to the US, through R and D administrations.

    Let’s hope much of the $3,800,000,000 can be used to bolster domestic needs in a future D administration.

  4. Submitted by Allan Mosak on 08/15/2019 - 09:51 pm.

    Rep. Angie Craig says that “Every member of Congress should have the opportunity to visit Israel — this decision must be reversed.” Maybe so. But Tlaib and Omar made a point of insisting that they were visiting PALESTINE, not Israel. Any country has the right to ban entry to those whose only intention is to cause them harm or embarrassment.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/16/2019 - 09:45 am.

      Thank you Alan Mosak, for pointing out that they wanted to visit Palestine not Israel.Where is Palestine ? Israel could’ve stated there is no Palestine.

      Oh wait Palestine is what’s left of the apartheid Bantustan Israel has created for millions of Palestinians while claiming to Americans that its a free open and diverse society Just Like America.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 08/16/2019 - 10:25 am.

      Wouldn’t that mean Trump can’t be in the US? There is plenty to criticize Israel over; however this nonstop drama between Trump and the squad is non productive; better they try to get legislation passed to address the issues instead of an ongoing mini series.

  5. Submitted by Jimmy Kilpatrick on 08/16/2019 - 06:25 am.

    Too bad her mouth got in the way of her visit. She doesn’t represent the majority of Americans but just a few American haters. Read and listen to the vile and dangerous comments she has made regarding Israel and then judge her being denied.

  6. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/16/2019 - 07:43 am.

    Interesting how silent Minnesota Republicans are.

    • Submitted by Jim Roth on 08/17/2019 - 11:39 am.

      And Colin Peterson who proudly claims to be the Democrat representing the most Republican district of any Democrat in Congress.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/16/2019 - 08:21 am.

    The stupidity of this request and Israel’s decision is truly mind boggling. Israel is confirming it’s status as a oppressive regime when it can’t tolerate opposition or criticism, even from allies. This also confirms the nature of the apartheid regime Israel has established… note Israel banned travel to Palestinian territory, not Israel. Why would Tlaib need Israeli permission and consent to visit her own grandmother in the West Bank? Why would anyone need Israeli permission or consent to visit Palestinian territory?

    Trump of course is confirming yet again his own idiocy and childish mentality when he makes such a request. The fact that he even thinks such restrictions makes sense betrays his dictatorial mentality.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/16/2019 - 08:46 am.

    … and we all know that nothing suggested above by Messrs. Voorhees, Evans and Blaise (or elsewhere online by candidate Bernie Sanders) is likely to happen. Mr. Trump has an ally in temperament in Mr. Netanyahu.

  9. Submitted by joe smith on 08/16/2019 - 10:06 am.

    In 2012 Michael Ben Ari, an elected official from Israel, was denied access to USA by Obama administration. Ben Ari was a member of the Knesset party, deemed anti Arab. I wonder if any of you shouted how wrong that was?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/16/2019 - 10:59 am.

      Was Mr. Ben Ari coming as a representative of a part of the government whose financial support pretty much ensures the continued existence of the US?

      Was his visa denied at the behest of the Israeli government?

      Wasn’t he the fellow who is an unapologetic member of a group deemed terrorist by the State Department?

      • Submitted by Allan Mosak on 08/16/2019 - 04:22 pm.

        “Was Mr. Ben Ari coming as a representative of a part of the government whose financial support pretty much ensures the continued existence of the US?”
        Israel is quite self sufficient and does not need US money to survive. The US invests money in Israel technology, and gets much in return. Or would you care to turn off your computer, because the Intel Pentium chips in it were invented in Israel? And even if Israel did depend on US money for its existence, does that give the US the right to decide which Israelis can enter and which can’t? Besides, aren’t you in favor of open borders?

        “Was his visa denied at the behest of the Israeli government?”
        No, actually the entire delegation of Israeli members of Knesset decided not to attend the conference to which they were all invited because of the US refusal to admit Mr. Ben Ari.

        “Wasn’t he the fellow who is an unapologetic member of a group deemed terrorist by the State Department?”
        No, Actually, although he was a student of Meir Kahana, he was not a member of his party.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/16/2019 - 04:48 pm.

          The US gives Israel over $3 billion per year in military aid, and around $8 billion in loan guarantees.

          Michael Ben Ari was a member of the Kach Party until that organization was banned. He still regards himself as a follower of Kahane.

        • Submitted by Tom Crain on 08/17/2019 - 01:53 pm.

          This is a risible argument. The US does not give foreign aid as an investment in technology on behalf of it’s many international companies based here. If that were the case, the US govt should be giving allot of aid to China and other countries.

          BTW, If you have a pentium-chip PC still in operation, congratulations! Intel stopped making these chips over 10 yrs ago.

  10. Submitted by Tim Smith on 08/16/2019 - 10:10 am.

    Omar has mastered swamp dem politics at such a young age. Say and do whatever you want, no matter how divisive and ridiculous, then get called out and respond by playing the victim card. Tribal politics at its best.

    Why would an antisemite be allowed in Israel when she advocates policies that would hurt them? Has anyone in the media called out the shady funding sources for this trip?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/16/2019 - 11:10 am.

      “Why would an antisemite be allowed in Israel when she advocates policies that would hurt them?”

      Let’s start with the fact that the Israeli government was fine with this trip until the Goniff-in-Chief unleashed his fury. That’s really the important issue here: why is Trump dictating to other countries how to treat members of Congress? Suppose Obama had revoked PM Netanyahu’s permission to visit so he wouldn’t be allowed to address Congress about his opposition to the Iran agreement?

      “Has anyone in the media called out the shady funding sources for this trip?”

      What are those shady sources? I can’t find anything. Are you just assuming “shady,” because a Muslim Somali Democrat must be guilty of something?

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 08/16/2019 - 11:34 am.

        MIFTA, a Palestinian based organization who has expressed support for suicide bombers and BDS movement. The whole trip was going to be one big lame publicity stunt.

        • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/16/2019 - 12:08 pm.

          Prove your statement that MIFTA or whatever supported suicide bombers. Are you saying you know something the FBI doesn’t know ? Really ?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/16/2019 - 12:20 pm.

          The BDS “movement,” such as it is, is perfectly legal and advocating its goals is protected by the First Amendment.

          MIFTAH uses highly inflammatory language. They don’t condemn suicide bombers, but I don’t see “support” for them.

          “The whole trip was going to be one big lame publicity stunt.”

          Isn’t the Trump Administration nothing but “one big lame publicity stunt” after another? What do you call his orders that Israel call off the visit?

          • Submitted by joe smith on 08/16/2019 - 08:40 pm.

            I see where Tlaib wanted to visit her Grandmother and asked for a visa to go to the West Bank. Once she was given the visa, she declined to go. I guess she didn’t miss Grandma as much as she claimed…… Total political stunt that shows it is all about getting publicity…. Sad.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/19/2019 - 09:06 am.

              Ha, ha! That girl thinks she should be afforded the respect and dignity that comes with being a member of the US House of Representatives! What a joke, am I right?

              After all, we know the government of Israel would never, ever, ever do anything as a political stunt.

              • Submitted by joe smith on 08/19/2019 - 05:09 pm.

                As I stated, the lefties were not upset when Obama didn’t let Ben Ari into America. As a sovereign country Israel can decide for themselves who they want in their country. Using her Grandmother, as a political prop, thinking Israel would not grant her access to West Bank, blew up on her. If folks on the Left can’t see that, they truly are blind.

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/20/2019 - 09:10 am.

                  If folks on the right can’t see that Israel is just dancing to the tune played by Trump and not acting as an independent nation, who are they to call anyone else “blind?”

                  Domestic politics are supposed to stop at the shoreline. Israel is making itself look foolish by playing along with Trump’s authoritarian fantasies.

                  • Submitted by joe smith on 08/20/2019 - 11:49 am.

                    Israel gave her a visa to visit her Grandmother in the West Bank. She declined to go because it didn’t fit her narrative that Israel is banning her. Total political theater that is falling back on her and those who fell for this charade.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/16/2019 - 11:06 am.

    By the way, these restrictions and entry denials are all buttressed by anti-boycott and divestment laws that have been passed here in the US. This is censorship and suppression come home to roost.

    Several States (including Minnesota) and the US Congress have passed laws barring the government from doing business with anyone who supports divestment or boycotts of Israel for humanitarian reasons. This is outright discrimination against people of conscience who want to promote human rights and dignity for Palestinians. These are the laws Trump is using as a pretext to request/suggest banning Omar and Tlaib from traveling to Palestinian territory.

    It’s nice to see Democrats condemn the travel ban, but they also need to examine and accept their responsibility for promoting this discrimination in the first place. Laws restricting the conscience of American citizens have no place in our books to begin with, and it’s always just a matter of time before such laws are used and abused.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 08/16/2019 - 12:45 pm.

      Just to expand on that — it isn’t really that the anti-BDS laws “restrict the conscience of American citizens;” it’s that they violate our first amendment rights by restricting boycott and divestment decisions, which the courts have found are protected forms of speech.

      No matter which side of the BDS controversy you fall on, you should be afraid of this kind of legislation. What’s next? A law saying you can’t refuse to do business with Russian or Chinese companies?

      If the government can enforce laws like that, they might just pass a law that you can’t boycott WellsFargo just because you object to their financial practices.

      • Submitted by Jim Roth on 08/17/2019 - 11:46 am.

        Well stated.

      • Submitted by Greg Smith on 08/17/2019 - 10:38 pm.

        You are free to have your speech, no one is stopping you. Just that you might loose some business. Do you jump to see d Sat Click Fila or Hobby Lobbys decisions of conscience?

        • Submitted by Greg Smith on 08/17/2019 - 10:39 pm.

          To defend chick fil a

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/19/2019 - 08:49 am.

          Greg,

          The “business” you risk losing here is taxpayer funded government business. If this isn’t an overt attempt to punish or restrict speech, what’s the point?

          Sure, we have other examples of restrictions placed on government contracts but these BDS restrictions are levied upon American citizens who are doing nothing more than promoting a peaceful resolution to a lethal and decades long conflict.

          Typically restricted companies are those with criminal histories, or foreign entanglements of some kind. These laws against free speech are unprecedented.

          The idea that anyone seeking a government contract needs to tacitly accept a de facto allegiance to a foreign country is unconstitutional. In fact lawsuits have thus far successfully challenged anti-BDS legislation. These are unconstitutional restrictions of protected speech.

          The vast majority of Minnesotans and Americans have/had no idea such legislation has even been passed. When people find out about these laws they don’t understand or support them as a general rule.

  12. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 08/16/2019 - 12:30 pm.

    Trump caused this to happen. His denials are lies. Why is it some hard for the media to stop enabling him?

  13. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 08/16/2019 - 01:35 pm.

    If I knew someone disliked me intensely, tried to use the government to hurt me economically so I had no way to make a living, and then expected to come in my house, not to visit me and my family, but look around to see how else to hurt me further, I wouldn’t let this person in either. I agree with Israel completely.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 08/17/2019 - 12:44 am.

      Yeah, especially if they were democratically elected representatives of the country gives me $3.8 billion each year in aid.

      Sorry for the snark, but democracies are supposed to be more open and less thin-skinned than that. Otherwise, what’s the point of supporting them?

      • Submitted by Dan Jacobson on 08/17/2019 - 05:56 pm.

        Thin skinned?? Israel is surrounded by nations that want them eliminated and Israel is by far the most accepting, no comparison

        • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/18/2019 - 08:59 am.

          The only “elimination” i see is that of the Palestinian homeland. Which elimination do you actually see in the past 5 decades ?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/17/2019 - 09:57 am.

      I’m afraid this is rather naive and ill-informed perspective.

      Obviously nations are not comparable to single family homes in any reasonable context.

      More importantly however it’s critical to understand to that Neither Omar or Tlaib are “enemies of Israel or trying to “harm” Israel, the Israeli people, or Jews. The criticisms, boycotts, and divestment’s aren’t declarations of war, or even attacks per se, they are strategies to move Israel and Palestinians towards a peaceful resolution, and end to the conflict. People of conscience who want to end the conflict and bring peace and security are not trying to “harm” Israel, on the contrary.

      You may or may not think that a two state solution is realistic, but Israeli leadership has been pursuing a one state solution that essentially denies any real sovereignty or dignity for Palestinians for decades, and that looks like a model for perpetual conflict.

      Much the same way we can argue that Trump is damaging our nation, it can be argued that Nentanyahu and conservative Israeli leadership are the ones who are really harming Israel. They have obviously decided that ongoing conflict and casualties are an acceptable price to pay for their annexations and settlements. Those who perpetuate lethal conflicts cannot claim to be better allies than those who seek to end such conflicts.

  14. Submitted by Dan Jacobson on 08/17/2019 - 01:47 pm.

    Omar clearly is anti-semitic in her hateful comments about Israel and Jews and has aligned herself with CAIR, a group of questionable motives and associations. She is obsessed with Israel, Jews and a supporter of the BDS anti-Israel movement. She and her colleague Tlaib deliberately orchestrated this stunt to put Israel in a bad light. They are not looking for “dialogue” or to “learn about Israel” but only to manipulate anti-Israel political points. That is the most explosive area in the world and who knows what they might start with their demonstrated anti-Israel, anti Jewish hatred

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/18/2019 - 09:02 am.

      Question Israeli treatment of Palestinians is anti-semitic ? How so ? Isn’t your narrative similar to the racist AIPAC narrative that basically smears anyone who questions Israel in order to deflect any such questions.

      AIPAC and you may not care about Palestinians and use deflections. There are others in the world who do.

  15. Submitted by DONALD HUIZENGA on 08/18/2019 - 05:44 am.

    Omar had no desire to go to Israel. She wanted to make political statements in Palestine. If these people want to fight over religion, decade after decade. fine by me…but we must remember that these are sovereign countries. What they want to do and who they want to admit are choices left entirely up to them. For all we know, Israeli’s might not want Ms. Omar in their country…and isn’t that, in the end, their right?

    I wish American Democrats would stop saying that we have a “common moral compass.” We do not. We are, if nothing else, a country of individuals, seeking our own rewards, acting on our own impulses.

    BTW…has ANYONE seen any pictures of Omar and her siblings? Anyone?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/18/2019 - 09:00 am.

      I don’t know about Democrats but I’m definitely NOT referring to any common moral compass. When I look at Trump supporters and many of those who are trying to launch these attacks on Omar and her colleagues, I’m looking irretrievably broken moral compasses.

      These repetitive false claims about Omar and her “motivations” and her family etc. are merely a display of bigotry and hate speech pretending to be political or moral observations. There’s no point in responding to this nonsense at this point because it’s all been examined and debated at length. And for once I agree with Thom Friedman, If you think these Omar detractors are friends of Israel you’re a fool.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/18/2019 - 09:05 am.

      And what about the rights of millions of Palestinians who welcome Ms Omar. Who stripped those millions of that right ?

      I agree with you. I have no “common moral compass” with those who use their religion to dispossess another people. And furthermore make endless excuses like anti-semitism.

      If you have concerns about Omar and her siblings please report to the FBI. They’ll surely look into it after they finish up with Obamas birth certificate from Kenya file.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/19/2019 - 05:55 pm.

      Oh boy, where are the pictures. Come on now. There are legitimate criticisms of Omar, but some people can’t get past the completely unsubstantiated idea that she married her brother.

      Omar fled Somalia when she was six, spent 4 years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to America, and became a citizen 3 years after that. She didn’t have the happy and safe childhood you did. Sorry if there weren’t a lot of family pictures.

  16. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/19/2019 - 09:35 am.

    Netanyahu’s chickens will soon come home to roost with Trump’s: Both put their personal political need way in front of any semblance of duty to country.

    And both are prime candidates for prison terms following their time in elected office: another motivating factor for every decision reflecting the need to stay in office.

    That said, I believe, the little covered fact in all this is that Talib and Omar declined to do any of the “normal” aspects of a political visit to Israel: meeting elected officials, etc…

    She should be as concerned with fair representation of St Louis Park as she is with Cedar Riverside.

    There are better candidates to represent MN CD 5 than Omar and they would have had a decent primary opportunity before Trump guaranteed her re-election by continuing to using her and the 3 others as his “enemy of the day”.

  17. Submitted by Phil Howard on 08/19/2019 - 04:08 pm.

    She hates Israel and Jews. She’s an Islamist. The organization sponsoring the trip praised terrorists. She said she was planning to visit the country “Palestine” which never has existed. That would be the same as David Duke, if elected to Congress, visiting an all African-American church or a Temple.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 08/20/2019 - 04:46 pm.

      I don’t think “she hates Israel”. I don’t think she is an “Islamist”, although she is Muslim by faith. I do know both of these women are US Representatives who should enjoy all the freedoms any American would have, and our own State Department and Ambassadors should protect her American rights in relations with foreign governments.

      Trump doesn’t know her heart and neither do we.

      Bullying freshmen women is Trumpian but not fitting of a President of all Americans.

  18. Submitted by richard owens on 08/19/2019 - 05:30 pm.

    Rashida and Ilhan spoke eloquently at their Minneapolis news conference today. They were supported by another Palestinian who lives in Minneapolis with her husband and they have been denied entry too.

    Then a Jewish woman spoke. She married a Palestinian, in the West Bank, but was forced to return to Israel to update her marital status. When she left, the Israelis interrogated her for 10 hours about her Facebook entries in support of the march in Ferguson Missouri. She can no longer go to the occupied territories.

    Two more Twin Cities Jews then spoke in solidarity for the women’s human rights, and to stop the Reactionary leaders from using Omar and Tlaib’s Muslin religion to weaponize anti-Semitism.

    Their unity and support was beautiful to watch. It made me think again about the way Trump and Netanyahu and racists everywhere apply their fervent racial views with labels (“terrorists”).

    In 1949, the Geneva Conventions explicitly called “collective punishment” a WAR CRIME. Israel and the US may wish people to think we are not at war, yet when the term TERRORIST is invoked, WAR is implied, hence the Dubya Cheney “War on Terror.”

    So they have it both ways- either they ARE at war, in which case the Geneva Conventions are in effect, or we are NOT at war, in which case denying people’s free movement cannot be justified by a condition of war and collective punishment against a whole class of people shows Israel to be FAR from a democracy or a nation of human rights.

    The US with Trump and Republican Presidents, makes us just as bad.
    American citizens must be supported in their rights by our diplomatic corps, not with a meddling Dotard lunatic telling the Netanyahu how to get elected again.

    The women cried hugged and one read a touching Palestinian poem.

    These folks will shine a light on Israel’s crimes for all to see.

    Too bad their own country doesn’t have an administration that will support them,

  19. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2019 - 08:12 am.

    “That said, I believe, the little covered fact in all this is that Talib and Omar declined to do any of the “normal” aspects of a political visit to Israel: meeting elected officials, etc…:

    There has been little coverage of this because it’s irrelevant and untrue. Omar and Tlaib followed all standard diplomatic protocols, they didn’t “refuse” to meet with Israeli officials, they just chose their own itinerary. There were after all traveling to the Palestinian/Occupied territories, they weren’t traveling to meet with the Israeli government to begin with.

    “She should be as concerned with fair representation of St Louis Park as she is with Cedar Riverside.”

    Edward, what’s the big difference between people living in Cedar Riverside and those living in St. Louis Park? Careful now.

    I live in SLP and I don’t think any other candidate would be a better representative. I’ve never been embarrassed or offended by anything that Omar has said or done. I think Omar is representing me exactly the way I want to be represented, and I admire her courage, humanity, and integrity. I wholeheartedly support the progressive agenda and I think it’s a critical and necessary antidote to the fascist and reactionary movement that has taken hold in our political landscape. This is NOT a narrow agenda for people of color, this is critical agenda for all Americans and everyone who lives in Omar’s district.

  20. Submitted by Joe Musich on 08/21/2019 - 08:02 pm.

    I refuse to see and read all the complications of how modern day Israel came to be foisted on two Congresspersons. It is purely insane. All people need recognition and validation and to in a safe place and not surrounded by violence wherever in the world they may live. It is so sad that so many go to argument and not solutions. The current person in the White House does not represent the entire country. Nor does the current person in the like position in Israel. Many people voices are going unheard. Even here efforts are being made to sidetrack and derail honest discussion. If the safety of many is to get anywhere the first step must be to stop the attacks. Consider for once as you do play the zero sum game that you unwillingness to engage means literal death to innocents.

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