Former Vice President Joe Biden was just one of many who piled on the Israeli government’s decision to bar far-left Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting the country.
But his words come off as more than a little hypocritical when you consider that the Obama administration did something similar in 2012.
The reason for the Israeli government’s action made complete sense, as it relates to Tlaib and Omar’s support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.
“As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” he added. “Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”
Netanyahu determined the “sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.”
But Biden wasn’t pleased.
“I have always been a stalwart supporter of Israel — a vital partner that shares our democratic values,” he tweeted. “No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas — even ideas they strongly object to. And no leader of the free world should encourage them to do so.”
I have always been a stalwart supporter of Israel—a vital partner that shares our democratic values. No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas—even ideas they strongly object to. And no leader of the free world should encourage them to do so.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 15, 2019
As The Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out, Biden appears to have a selective memory. After all, he forgot about the time when the Obama administration, under which Biden served vice president, barred Michael Ben Ari — then a member of the Israeli legislature — from visiting the U.S.
Remember that time the Obama administration barred a member of Israeli Knesset from entering the United States in 2012? Because you were vice president at the time. https://t.co/kBl47NJ9Tn
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 15, 2019
“Ben Ari recently submitted a request to the U.S. consulate for a visa, so he could take part in two conferences held in the United States this week, one aimed at encouraging aliyah to Israel,” the Israeli outlet Haaretz reported in February 2012.
“In response, however, he was told that he cannot be granted the visa based on a clause that allows the U.S. State Department to prohibit the entrance of people who were involved in terror activities or were members of a terror organization in a foreign country,” Haaretz added.
“Ben Ari believes that the U.S. government is referring to his membership in the Kach movement, a far-right political movement that is considered a terror organization in Israel, Canada, the European Union, and the United States.”
Without getting into whether or not barring Ben Ali from visiting the U.S. was a good decision, there’s one thing everyone should be able to agree on: Sovereign countries have the right to decide who gets to cross their borders.
The Israeli government had every right to prohibit Tlaib and Omar from visiting their country, just as the Obama administration had every right to deny Ben Ari a visa.
For Biden to complain about the former while ignoring the latter is hypocritical, plain and simple.
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