The Corner

Politics & Policy

Head-Scratchers

Rep Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

There are things in the news that I find genuinely difficult to understand.

Exhibit A: We all are apparently expected to clutch our pearls because the government of Israel has, in accordance with its law, politely declined to host some of its enemies. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) had planned to visit Israel as part of a junket organized by group advocating financial sanctions against Israel. Both are, as the New York Times put it, “vocal in their support of the Palestinians and the boycott-Israel movement.” Why on Earth would Israel invite onto its own sovereign soil those who deny its legitimacy as a Jewish state?

Exhibit B: A related issue: Apologists for such as Omar and Tlaib often say, “We’re not anti-Semites, we’re anti-Zionists.” What I hear is this: “We hate the Jews all together, nationally, not one at a time!” And that doesn’t seem to me much of a defense.

Exhibit C: A public-radio story this morning decried the fact that many illegal immigrants to the United States are detained in facilities located in rural areas. This, critics say, makes it more difficult for them to access certain kinds of services, and it makes it difficult for friends and family to visit them. “It’s just too far!” one said. My own experience with being detained by law-enforcement agencies is not extensive, but my recollection is that they did not seem very concerned about my convenience at all. And when I reenter the United States through JFK, my own government manifestly does not give a fig about the convenience of its own citizens crossing the border legally, passports in hand. I don’t know why we’d want to make it more convenient to break our laws.

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