Israel’s denial of entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar has continued to raise consciousness in the United States. Yesterday Fox News invited regular contributor Geraldo Rivera on to discuss the trip to Palestine that didn’t happen, and Rivera became impassioned, slamming the Israeli ambassador Danny Danon for not acknowledging the occupation and saying that if the situation didn’t involve Israel and Jews, “we would all be outraged.”
It is absolutely outrageous that two sitting members of the Congress of the United States of America, a country that gives Israel over $3 billion a year in aid, were denied entry into the country. I am shocked that the ambassador did not mention 52 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. These are people who are being denied their human rights. They can’t freely travel. The fact that the congresswoman from Detroit could not go and visit her grandmother– I just think that if it were not Israel and it was not the Jews, if it was any other country that took this action, we would all be outraged.
(Danon was given a chance to respond and said the congresswomen had “wanted to create a provocation.” And maybe you should keep your provocation in the United States, not bring it to us, he went on. Also, Israel doesn’t have a viable partner to negotiate with. “American people know that… We are a peaceful nation but we live in a very tough neighborhood.”)
Then author Andy McCarthy got a moment to say, Rashida Tlaib was planning a stunt trip, and Rivera blew up.
Why is it a stunt– a woman wants to see her grandmother in an occupied country? It’s a stunt! There are 50-year old Palestinians that have never lived in freedom their whole lives… I have friends on the West Bank, I see that they cannot travel freely. They can’t even bring their relatives in when they get married. This is an occupied country
To be sure, Rivera called himself “a Jewish American and a fervent Zionist,” said he was comforted by Trump’s support for Israel, and showed off his Star of David tattoo. It may be that you can only criticize Israel in the mainstream after you aver your love for the country. But Rivera pushed the mainstream envelope. You’d hope that other broadcast figures who know the story, like Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper, will be as forthright as Rivera.