Legal group petitions Israeli court to stop Omar’s entry

Shurat Hadin has filed a petition in court to stop Ilhan Omar from entering the country. 

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli legal group Shurat Hadin petitioned the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday in a bid to prevent the entry of U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) into Israel, Ynet reports.

The petition asks the court to order Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to stop Omar from being allowed into Israel given her support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement.

According to Amendment No. 28 to the Entry into Israel Law, the country may prohibit foreigners from entering who  make a “public call for boycotting Israel” or “any area under its control.”

Israel views BDS as anti-Semitic in nature. According to the Working Definition of anti-Semitism agreed upon by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Stockholm in 2015, anti-Semitism is defined as, among other things, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

On July 17, Omar introduced a resolution in the House Judiciary Committee meant to support the BDS movement. The resolution was disguised in such a way as to not mention Israel, but its intention was obvious – a fact agreed upon by  opponents and supporters alike and admitted to by Omar in an Al Jazeera interview.

Omar’s resolution was co-sponsored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Democrat from Michigan.

The same day as the resolution the two announced that they planned to visit Israel, prompting some discussion as to whether they would be allowed to enter.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer ended that debate two days later, announcing that Israel would permit their entry “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.”

According to Ynet, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president and founder of Shurat HaDin, said: “The Israeli government is working hard to urge American students and residents of other countries around the world to fight as much as they can against BDS and anti-Semitism on campus.

“In this battle, the State of Israel and its government must set an example, and stand itself with all the tools as its disposal against this phenomenon as well. It is not for the Israeli government to let others, among them young students, fight this war for it, while here in Israel it’s the one that surrenders to the phenomenon for reasons having to do with the prestige and status of these BDS activists, and others like them.”