By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Senior House Democrats are reportedly considering punitive measures against U.S. and Israeli diplomats after Jewish PM Benjamin Netanyahu blocked anti-Semitic Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from visiting his country last week.
As reported by McClatchy Papers, Democrats are considering legislation that would punish Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
The newswire claimed that Democrats are discussing a possible vote on a statement of no confidence in Dermer, as well as the opening up of an inspector general investigation into Friedman.
Netanyahu’s decision to block Tlaib and Omar from visiting came after President Donald Trump tweeted that Israel should consider such a move due to the overt anti-Semitism displayed by both lawmakers in the past.
Israel eventually lifted its ban on Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, on humanitarian grounds so she could visit her grandmother. But she declined the invite, claiming she wouldn’t travel to Israel as long as her people remained “oppressed.”
The president blasted Tlaib’s decision not to go after the invitation was extended.
“Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2019
About a dozen lawmakers, including senior Jewish members, began discussions on Friday morning over ways to communicate a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
The group is weighing issuing a statement of no confidence in Dermer and opening an inspector general investigation into Friedman’s conduct, the sources said.
“We are reviewing all of our options,” a senior congressional source told McClatchy. “With Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government given he has made promises that he has not kept and wasn’t clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”
Whatever Democrats pass likely won’t get through the Senate or past a presidential veto, should legislation make it to Trump’s desk. But their virtue-signaling will be good enough for Democrat voters.
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