Arrivals & Departures

Rep. Omar will travel to Israel, Palestinian territories

J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said she’ll be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories in a few weeks, calling it an opportunity to learn more about the situation on the ground, “occupation,” and best ways forward on a two-state solution.

“I am going in a couple of weeks and so I’ll learn more,” Omar told Jewish Insider on Wednesday. “But truly, everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation.” 

When asked where she will visit the Congresswoman replied “both,” seemingly referencing Israel and the West Bank, and directed questions about logistics to her office. 

Omar spoke with JI following a markup on the House Foreign Affairs Committee which discussed a number of Israel related bills, and where she expressed her support for a resolution affirming U.S. support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We must really address that [occupation] and make sure that as we push forth a two-state solution, that we acknowledge that and fight any attempts to stall this process and make sure that there is an opportunity for both sides to fully recognize each other’s dignity and to live peacefully.”

At least five bills related to Israel passed through the HFAC committee on Wednesday, including Reps. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Karen Bass’s (D-CA) resolution supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Rep. Brad Schneider’s (D-IL) resolution opposing the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. 

Omar said she supports the two-state solution resolution but opposed the anti-BDS measure.

“If we are going to condemn violent means of resisting the occupation, we cannot also condemn nonviolent means,” Omar said during the committee mark up, and referenced her recently introduced resolution with Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) that documents the history and constitutional right of Americans to boycott. 

“Well, she’s entitled to her opinion,” said Schneider, who authored the resolution, regarding his colleague from Minnesota. “I’ve been very clear. BDS is hateful, BDS oppose two states, BDS is antisemitic at its core. That’s why it’s important to speak out.”

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