AIPAC Leads Other Jewish Groups, Lawmakers Condemning Israel Banning Tlaib + Omar

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, said Reps. Rashida Tlaib, center, and Ilhan Omar, right, provided an itinerary that "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”  (Laura E. Adkins for JTA/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, said Reps. Rashida Tlaib, center, and Ilhan Omar, right, provided an itinerary that "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.” (Laura E. Adkins for JTA/Getty Images)

Loud voices — both Democrats and Republicans — living in America and in Israel expressed condemnation and in some cases outrage over Israel’s decision on Thursdayto ban Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend.

Prominent pro-Israel group AIPAC was joined by other establishment Jewish groups to criticize Omar and Tlaib’s support for the movement to boycott Israel. But like others who have their differences with the two House reps, AIPAC said that Israel should nonetheless allow sitting members of the United States Congress to enter the country and see it for themselves, writes JTA ( Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution,” the organization tweeted, referring to the boycott Israel movement. “We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, had previously said Israel would not bar any members of Congress. But it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flip-flopped minutes after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Israel “would show great weakness” if it let in the two congresswomen.

Tlaib, D-Mich, and Omar, D-Minn., are supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country. They have also at times invoked what critics call anti-Semitic tropes in criticizing the Jewish state.

The New York Times breaks down the specifics of the two-year-old Israeli law used to bar Tlaib aned Omar.

JTA shares specifics on individuals and groups supporting Netanyahu’s decision and those opposing it, as well as newly posted Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren criticize Israel’s decision to bar Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Natalie Portman Refuses To Accept Israel's Genesis Prize, Refusing To Appear With Benjamin Netanyahu

Natalie Portman in her directorial debut, 'A Tale of Love and Darkness, about the creation of Israel and its impact on Palestinians.

Natalie Portman in her directorial debut, 'A Tale of Love and Darkness, about the creation of Israel and its impact on Palestinians.

Natalie Portman Refuses To Accept Israel's Genesis Prize, Refusing To Appear With Benjamin Netanyahu,

Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman has backed out of a major award ceremony in Israel as this year's recipient of the Genesis Prize --, citing the scheduled presence of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the event. Portman issues a statement late Friday saying that she did not wish to appear as endorsing the prime minister. 

Portman, who is Jewish and was born in Israel, has starred in such hit movies as “Black Swan” and the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. She directed a 2015 feature, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” an adaptation of the autobiographical novel by the Israeli author Amos Oz and shot in Jerusalem.

In her statement Friday, Ms. Portman said: “I am not part of the B.D.S. movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.”

“Israel,” she said, “was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

L’Oréal Paris Fires Amena Khan Over 2014 Anti-Israel Tweet, Requiring Yet Again That Models Not Have Opinions

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L’Oréal Paris Fires Amena Khan Over 2014 Anti-Israel Tweet, Requiring Yet Again That Models Not Have Opinions

British beauty blogger Amena Khan's L'Oréal Paris campaign debuted in two parts. Khan made history as the first hijab-wearing model to star in a hair campaign for a major international media brand. L'Oreal flexed their global diversity muscles, explaining that hair care is of interest to every woman, whether she shows her hair in public or not. 

Khan, who first began wearing a headscarf in public during her twenties, also worked with the French brand on their 2017 collaboration with The Prince’s Trust, wrote on her Instagram that this was a “game changing” new project.

Is Linda Sarsour About Women's Rights Or Are We #3 After Islam & Linda Sarsour's Ego? Call Me Concerned

Is Linda Sarsour About Women's Rights Or Are We #3 After Islam & Linda Sarsour's Ego? Call Me Concerned

I'm not a fan of Linda Sarsour because she refused to honor Hillary at the Jan. 21 Women's March, by only adding her name to a list of many women being honored that day.  However, I've generally refused to criticize Linda as a matter of feminist principles, and I've publicly defended her on Facebook on more than one occasion. 

This article sat unpublished and in draft form as I read more about Sarsour and let her personality percolate, but the Brooklyn's Muslim queen settled the issue in my mind this week, after reading her response to CNN's Jake Tapper.  The near-hysterical Twitter rant that was so all about Linda that I agree with Emily Shire writing for The Daily Beast, that Sarsour is sounding an awful lot like Donald Trump, with his massive-ego persecution complex. This is not good news for women's rights or Muslim rights in America. 

Battle Blows: Jake Tapper & Linda Sarsour

CNN's Jake Tapper notoriously questioned Donald Trump more than 20 times in a single interview about his racist comments in the presidential campaign. Tapper is one of 10 journalists to face the most anti-Semitic harassment online, concluded the Anti-Defamation League in a 2016 report. 

As Modern Orthodox Jews, Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump Share Deep Connection To Israel & Chabad

As Modern Orthodox Jews, Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump Share Deep Connection To Israel & Chabad

The Trump-Kushner family have said they practice Modern Orthodox Judaism and Jared Kushner graduated from The Frisch School, the prestigious New Jersey yeshiva. In Washington the family has joined the Chabad synagogue attached to Washington's Kalorama neighborhood.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, heads the small membership synagogue, which is a seven-minute walk from their home. Throughout the years, many Jewish politicians have attended TheSHUL, including former senator Joe Lieberman and current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, several Jewish ambassadors posted in Washington, and Israeli Cabinet ministers from the Orthodox parties. If Trump and Kushner attend the synagogue on a regular basis, it is likely to gain a lot of public attention, writes The Forward.

In a separate article The Forward poses the very question that captured my attention, writing "It might seem odd for a Modern Orthodox Jewish family to join a Chabad synagogue.  The relationship of Jared and Ivanka to the Chabad movement, also known as Lubavitch and Chabad-Lubavitch, was explored in one of the two Zembla videos exploring Donald Trump's relationship with the Russians. Chabad is the largest Hasidic movement in the world. 

This evening, Thursday May 25, all US media confirms that Jared Kushner is under scrutiny by the FBI for his involvement with the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. Trump's lawyer, Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Jamie Gorelick, has said that Jared Kushner will be fully cooperative with investigators. 

RelatedThe Media Goes Deeper and Deeper Into Ivanka Trump: Zembla Looks At Jared, Ivanka & Lev Leviev.  (Zembla videos embedded). AOC Redtracker Daily

Banksy Opens Walled Off Hotel In West Bank With Hopes Of Enticing Israelis & Other World Travelers

Banksy Opens Walled Off Hotel In West Bank With Hopes Of Enticing Israelis & Other World Travelers

British activist artist Banksy has launched Walled Off Hotel with the hope of enticing Israeli tourists -- and dialogue -- to the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Banksy says his Walled Off Hotel has "the worst view of any hotel in the world."Worse yet, the hotel's 1- rooms get just 25 minutes of direct sunlight a day.

Nestled against the controversial wall separating Israel from the Palestinian territories, Banksy's latest act of brilliance is a hotel, museum, protest site and art gallery all in one.