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Statement on Israeli Government Decision to Bar Entry to Reps. Omar and Tlaib

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Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association strongly oppose the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry into Israel to U.S. Congressional Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. To quote Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, “When the Prime Minister of Israel uses political litmus tests at the border, he abandons Israeli democracy.” Knesset member Stav Shaffir writes, “A country with smart foreign policy invites Members of Congress with positions we don’t like and we make sure they’re exposed to the complexity of the conflict, see our narrative and show the world we are strong and open.” We hope that the Israeli government will reconsider this mistaken and damaging decision, which stands to harm the longstanding relationship between the US and Israel, and which contributes to growing anti-democratic trends in Israeli society.

We also condemn President Trump’s tweet claiming that Representatives Tlaib and Omar hate all Jewish people. As the American Jewish community continues to face ongoing threats from violent white nationalists, it is painful to hear the president badly misuse and distort the very real problem of active antisemitism in the U.S. 

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