Representatives Omar and Tlaib Banned from Israel

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster


We ran the numbers: There are 1534 news articles covering this topic. 33% (507) are left leaning, 44% (680) center, 23% (347) right leaning.

On Thursday, Israel announced that it is banning Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country. The two were scheduled to visit the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem next week. Both representatives have supported the boycott movement against Israel to protest the nation’s treatment of Palestinians, and Israel has prohibited them from visiting the country as a result. Prior to Israel’s decision, President Trump tweeted to encourage that the representatives be banned. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit,” he wrote. “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!”

The Washington Post published a left-leaning article suggesting that the president is using his power to attack his political rivals. They begin the article “By pressuring the Israeli government to bar entry [of] two members of Congress, President Trump once again used the power and platform of his office to punish his political rivals.” Left-leaning articles generally emphasize Trump’s role in the ban.

A center-leaning analysis by NPR reports that Israel’s rationale for the ban was that the congresswomen would have “taken advantage” of their visit to Israel. However, Israel had originally said that it would let the representatives visit out of respect for Congress. NPR’s Jerusalem correspondent suggests that what had changed Israel’s perspective was Trump’s tweets. Centrist sources generally report the sequence of events consisting of the representatives’ planned visit, Israel’s permission for them to visit, Trump’s tweet, and Israel’s reversal.

A right-leaning article by Fox News, in contrast, focuses on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to the ban. Pelosi stated that Israel’s decision is “a sign of weakness and beneath the dignity of the great state of Israel.” The article also examines Pelosi’s relationship with “The Squad”: “Pelosi's comments followed a pattern in which leading Democrats have expressed solidarity with the younger, more progressive lawmakers. Omar, Tlaib, and the rest of their ‘squad’ previously clashed with Pelosi when she downplayed the amount of political power they had in her chamber.” Right-leaning articles in general focus on comments from politicians and public figures such as Rush Limbaugh who supported Israel’s decision.