Apparently it’s official: #Israel to prevent the entry of @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib for their tour of #Palestine next week. Beyond disappointment at not being able to talk to them about #Gaza, a few thoughts.
1/ The very basic fact that Israel can prevent American congresswomen from touring the Palestinian territories is all the evidence one needs to show that Palestinians are living in a one-state reality under absolute Israeli control and sovereignty.
2/ This decision is excused using accusations of antisemitism and security. To be clear, this is about nothing other than shutting down freedom of expression and policing political opinion; only the right kind of American, with the right kind of politics, can get in.
3/ Outrage over this decision is appropriate, but this cannot hide the fact that Israel has routinely prevented Americans (and Europeans, and Australians, etc.) from entering based on ethnicity (Palestinianness), religion (Islam), or political views (supporters of boycott).
4/ That Israel can escalate its racial profiling to the level of US congresswomen breaks with diplomatic protocol – yet it is likely that there will be no political response, given the Trump-Bibi convergence around racist populist ideology.
5/ In the meantime, Israeli citizens enjoy free access to US/EU, despite this reciprocity not being granted to Americans/Europeans of Palestinian descent. Moreover, Israeli officials, even those with pending lawsuits for war crimes, have been allowed free passage.
6/ The claim by supporters of this move that Israel has “nothing to hide” is ludicrous. One cannot demand that Israel be seen as a democracy and insist it has nothing to hide while also supporting such actions.
7/ Israel’s decision to close its borders to congresswomen; its internal crackdown on human rights activists, e.g. @OmarSShakir ; and its routine prevention (and killing) of journalists/investigators, including in Gaza, all point to one fact: Israel has quite a bit to hide.
8/ This is simply the latest, and most visible, example of policing free speech, ensuring the ongoing occupation is whitewashed and met with limited exposure and criticism, and fortifying fortress Israel. #LetThemIn
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