In search of a new feud to distract the public from an economy teetering on the edge of collapse thanks to his reckless trade wars, President Trump turned to his favorite page in the playbook on Thursday morning with some appalling tweets against Democratic Muslim Congresswomen.
Singling out Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Trump accused them of hating “all Jewish people” and called on Israel to ban them from entering the country on an upcoming trip.
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Right-wing extremists love to falsely conflate any criticism of Israel and their murderous treatment of its Palestinian citizens with “anti-Semitism,” and that’s exactly what the president is doing here. He’s also playing up Islamophobic tropes by implying that because they are Muslim, they hate Israel and are not simply opposed to a government that will gun down 3,000 unarmed protestors without a thought.
The power of the president’s words was made immediately clear when Israel decided to ban the representatives from entering the country shortly after Trump’s tweet in a show of what Sen. Bernie Sanders called “enormous disrespect” to both the United States and to the representatives themselves.
Banning Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel and Palestine is a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy. The Israeli government should reverse this decision and allow them in. https://t.co/mvdcmnFBKU
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 15, 2019
The Democratic leadership is now put in a sticky situation. Will they prove true Ilhan Omar’s criticism that the Israel lobby is too powerful by staying silent on this affront to two of their most prominent members? Will they once again give in to bad faith right-wing smear campaigns or will they take a stand against this atrocious behavior by a close U.S. ally?
Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure. President Trump has proven once again that he is a race-baiting bigot who will do or say anything to take attention away from himself and his stunning incompetence, no matter the cost.