Rep. Ilhan Omar hopes Israel will vote out Netanyahu
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar hopes Israel will “make a different decision” and break from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as voters head to the polls on Tuesday.
In an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Omar said she hopes the people of Israel will “recognize that his existence, his policies, his rhetoric really is contradictory.”
“For many of us in Congress, it has been a longstanding support for a two-state solution, and this annexation now is going to make sure that that peace process does not happen and we will not get to a two-state solution,” she said. “I think what is really important is for people to understand that you have to give people the opportunity to seek the kind of justice they want in a peaceful way and I think the opportunity to boycott, divest sanction is the kind of the pressure that leads to that peaceful process.”
Netanyahu announced last week that he would annex parts of the West Bank if he’s reelected which, if carried out, could deal a potentially fatal blow to efforts to negotiate a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
Omar, a freshman congresswoman and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, has openly criticized Netanyahu’s government, specifically its treatment of Palestinians, and questioned the longstanding US support for Israel. In recent months, Democrats, including the party’s presidential contenders, have demonstrated an increasing willingness to break with the pro-Israel foreign policy orthodoxy that guided the party for a generation.
Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib have been openly supportive of the BDS movement, formally known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to end international support for Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, as well as its continued construction of West Bank settlements, considered a violation of international law. Both Omar and Tlaib were banned from entering Israel in August and Israel cited the congresswomen’s support for a boycott against Israel in considering the ban.
Israel announced it was banning the congresswoman came after President Donald Trump, an ally of Netanyahu, said Israel would be showing “great weakness” by allowing them to enter the country. In a statement shortly after, Netanyahu said, “The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel.”
At the time, Omar called the decision “an affront” and “an insult to democratic values.”
Israel will hold national elections on Tuesday in which Netanyahu will try for the second time this year to win the elections and secure the majority necessary for a governing coalition, which he failed to do in April.
Oren Liebermann, Abeer Salman and Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.