No, CNN, Israel’s Limits On Tlaib’s Entry Are Not A ‘Travel Ban’

No, CNN, Israel’s Limits On Tlaib’s Entry Are Not A ‘Travel Ban’

CNN’s desire to call travel restrictions on Rep. Rashida Tlaib a ‘travel ban’ despite no such ban evinces how inaccurate CNN’s coverage has become of ‘the Squad’ and Israel.
Erielle Davidson
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In an age where honest media coverage on Israeli affairs is sorely lacking, CNN has shown itself to be no exception. The recent coverage of the Tlaib-Omar Israel visit controversy provided CNN an opportunity to engage in honest analysis. Unsurprisingly, CNN did not seize it, instead opting to engage in the same dishonest, hubris-filled reporting that has characterized much of their coverage of Israel.

Firstly, as Guy Benson of Fox News noted, in recent coverage related to Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) potential visit to Israel, after she was granted admission on humanitarian grounds CNN referred to Tlaib’s refusal to visit Israel as a “travel ban.” Tlaib was initially refused entry on the basis of the anti-boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) laws under which Israel operates.

But after appealing the decision, Tlaib was granted permission from Israel to enter on humanitarian grounds, since the politician had expressed hopes of visiting her grandmother. However, Tlaib rejected Israel’s offer. CNN’s desire to call it a “travel ban” despite no such ban evinces precisely how inaccurate and unconscionable CNN’s coverage has become in relation to the “Squad” and Israel. Although Tlaib refused to visit, it is Israel that is fraudulently castigated for barring her entry.

CNN also took the liberty of reporting Israel’s decision to deny entry to both Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as a move to “punish political pundits.” For those unfamiliar with Israeli law, the move to ban the congresswomen is perfectly in line with current anti-BDS law on the books in Israel.

Israel denies entry to those who actively support boycotts of Israel, and has routinely done so, as many Western nations do to those who seek to harm their respective countries. Thus, the original decision to bar Tlaib and Omar from entry also represents the equal application of Israeli law, indicating that special privileges will not be afforded to politicians merely because of their stature.

An individual may be a security concern, whether she campaigns for BDS on her college campus or within the halls of Congress. Both are reprehensible, and both may meet entry restrictions. Thus, to portray Israel’s initial denial of entry as some sort of petty political ploy is an injustice to the legal rationale existing behind Israel’s decision.

CNN also reports that the boycott movement, which famously served as the basis for denying entry to Tlaib and Omar, is simply about “ending international support.” This is a gross mischaracterization of a movement whose main mission is an effective end to the Jewish state. For those unaware, much of the official BDS movement, to which Tlaib and Omar have pledged support, has pernicious and deep ties to terrorist organizations. Thus, seeking to limit the presence of the BDS movement within Israel should strike audiences as not only reasonable but entirely necessary.

A certain hubris defines current criticisms of Israel—that Israel must simply suspend its laws at the whim of two freshmen congresswomen, who, if not given their way, will turn pedestrian application of Israeli law into a sanctimonious pity tour. To suspend its laws would erode Israel’s identity as a democratic nation. If Israel did suppress enforcement of her laws to accommodate Omar and Tlaib, such actions would actually be akin to a banana republic.

When Israel engages in precisely the same activities that other countries do, such as protecting her borders from those who seek to harm her, she is labeled “weak” and “craven,” per a recent piece from The New York Times editorial board. No, what is weak and craven is to hold Israel to one standard and the rest of the world to another. The self-righteous, hubristic lecturing from the left about how the world’s only Jewish state should accept those who seek its destruction is not only grossly juvenile, but entirely ignorant.

To portray Israel as having a reasonable basis for denying the two women entry would mean admitting that the BDS movement may be dangerous, a maneuver the Democrats and their media, including CNN, are not ready to perform, because the BDS movement, in all its hateful glory, has found a home on the left.

CNN has done its part to downplay the risks posed by BDS activists and their antisemitic ilk, instead choosing to portray Israel as juvenile, spiteful, and rash in protection of her people. It is up to a discerning public to challenge CNN’s lies.

Erielle Davidson is a Staff Writer at the Federalist and a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. She currently serves as a Fellow at the Center for International Law in the Middle East (CILME) at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. She writes about Israel, the Middle East, and related issues. Find her on Twitter at @politicalelle.

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