Ilhan Omar’s Planned Visit to Israel Causes a Stir

MINNEAPOLIS (Star Tribune (Minneapolis)/TNS) -

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar plans to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this month, sparking a petition to keep her out.

The Democratic lawmaker from Minneapolis told Jewish Insider in July about her plans for the visit. To date, her office has not released further information. But at least one Israeli group has petitioned the government to block her visit, according to local news reports.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan will join her. Last year, Omar and Tlaib became the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.

Earlier this year, Omar faced criticism from Jewish groups for a pair of comments that many felt raised anti-Semitic tropes. She later apologized.

Omar has been critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in disputed territories, referring to it as an “occupation.”

“We must really address that, 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,” Omar told Jewish Insider.

Omar and Tlaib support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement, which calls on individuals and corporations to boycott Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.