Immigration

Why Governments Should Not Bar Entry Based on Political Views

Israel's decision to bar two US members of Congress from entering the country is part of a much broader problem. Many nations, including the US, have similar policies. Here's why such restrictions should be abolished.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D- Minnesota).

Israel's recent decision to bar US Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country, because of their support for the anti-Israel BDS movement, has attracted widespread controversy.  Critics argue that the Israeli decision is both unwise and unjust. The critics are right. But, lost in the much of the discussion, is the fact that entry restrictions based on political speech are far from unusual. Israel's policy is just one example of a much larger problem. If the Israeli action is unusual, it is mainly because of the high profile of Omar and Tlaib, and President Trump's norm-breaking decision to pressure a foreign government to bar entry to two prominent citizens of his own country.

The United States itself has a long history of barring entry to foreigners with views the federal government considers unusually odious, such as communists. Many European nations deny entry to far-right racists, such as the American white nationalist Richard Spencer.  Few of those who condemn Israel's decision or the long-time US policy of excluding communists also condemn entry restrictions that bar far-right nationalists—and vice versa.

But the truth is that all these policies do deserve condemnation, and virtually all should be repealed. And we should be willing to oppose them even when the people whose rights are restricted really do have odious views. I am no fan of Omar and Tlaib. The former has made anti-Semitic statements, and the BDS movement both advocate is itself heavily tainted by anti-Semitism, as shown by its use of classic anti-Semitic rhetoric – recently described by members of the German parliament as reminiscent of Nazi propaganda—and its targeting of Israel for sanctions, while ignoring the many nations with far worse human rights records. Communists and white nationalists are even more odious, in so far as many openly advocate policies that predictably lead to mass murder. Nonetheless their freedom of movement should not be restricted based on their views.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. It necessarily includes the right to advocate  extreme, awful, and unjust ideas, as well as good and "mainstream" ones. One can argue that travel restrictions do not really undermine freedom of speech because they don't ban the speech itself, but only restrict those who express certain ideas from entering particular areas. But the same defense can be offered for any regulation that does not directly restrict speech, but "merely" bars advocates of certain views from engaging in other activities. A law that forbids critics of President Trump from driving cars or flying on planes is clearly an attack on freedom of speech, even though it does not regulate speech directly. The same goes for speech-based travel restrictions.

Another problem with speech restrictions is that it is extremely difficult to keep them limited. One reason why we need constitutional protections for free speech, is that government cannot be trusted to restrict only the genuinely awful speech, while leaving the rest alone. To the contrary, censors have strong incentives to target critics of the government more generally and also any expression that is widely unpopular, regardless of its true merits.

This danger applies to speech-based restrictions on international travel as well as to more conventional "internal" censorship. In the US, nineteenth and early twentieth century efforts to bar immigrants based on views that were supposedly inimical to American republican institutions were closely linked to racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry against Asian, Catholic, Eastern European, and Jewish immigrants. In the 1930s, concerns about their possible radical left-wing political views were one of the reasons cited for barring Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.

Just last year, in the travel ban case, the US Supreme Court cited earlier decisions upholding laws barring entry to foreign communists as in order to uphold Donald Trump's policy of barring entry to citizens of several Muslim-majority nations—a policy clearly motivated by religious bigotry. For reasons explained in an amicus brief I coauthored in the travel ban case, I believe the earlier precedents were distinguishable, and did not actually require a decision in favor of the travel ban. But it is in the nature of dangerous precedents that their reach is often difficult to confine. The entire history of speech restrictions reinforces that lesson.

In my view, freedom of movement is an important human right, even when restrictions on it are unrelated to speech. There should be a strong (though not absolute) presumption against restrictions. But even those who don't place high value on freedom of movement, as such, should be troubled by the use of movement restrictions based on political views.

Some argue that governments have the right to restrict entry based on speech for much the same reasons as private homeowners have the right to exclude advocates of ideas they dislike from their property. I criticize this "house" analogy in detail here. For present purposes, I would emphasize that the house analogy would justify barring entry based on holding any views that the government happens to dislike, not just those that are especially odious. If a government wants to bar all conservatives from entering, all advocates of democracy, or all Zionists, the house analogy suggests they have every right to do so.

Can speech-based entry restrictions ever be justified? Perhaps in some extreme cases. I doubt that any right should ever be absolute. It is possible to imagine extreme circumstances where a speech-based restriction on entry is the only way to prevent some great harm, for example the takeover of the government by some oppressive political movement. For example, the Russian Provisional Government likely should have barred Lenin from reentering the country in 1917. Similar dangers can potentially justify more conventional "domestic" speech restrictions. For example, the Weimar Republic would have been justified in banning the Nazi Party, if that were the only way to keep them from coming to power.

But such situations are rare, and a well-designed constitutional system should at least require the government to provide strong evidence that such a grave threat really does exist, and speech restrictions are the only feasible way to deal with it. At any rate, Omar and Tlaib do not pose any such threat to Israel. The same goes for the overwhelming majority of other people whom the US, European states, and other governments have denied entry to because of their political views.

Obviously, restrictions on movement can also be justified in situations where the person in question plans to engage in terrorism, violence, or other comparable crime. But such constraints can be applied regardless of the individual's political views, and regardless of whether the movement in question is international or domestic. If, for example, US authorities had realized in advance that the perpetrator of the recent El Paso mass shooting was traveling to that city from Dallas for purposes of committing a horrible atrocity, they would have had every reason to stop him.

UPDATE: Since I put up this post, the Israeli government offered to let Rashida Tlaib enter for the "humanitarian" purpose of visiting her elderly grandmother, who lives on the West Bank, but only on condition that she give a written pledge that she will not "promote boycotts against Israel," while there. Tlaib, in turn, has refused these "oppressive" conditions, though she previously indicated she would "respect any restrictions and not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit." For a more detailed account of this episode, see here.

Allowing a person to enter on condition that they not express certain political views while in Israel is less objectionable than barring people with those views entirely. But it is still a restriction on both freedom of movement and freedom of speech, and still unjust except in the sorts of extreme circumstances described above.

The  Israeli government's willingness to let Tlaib enter so long as she refrains from expressing pro-boycott views also makes it even more clear that her speech is in fact the reason she was barred in the first place, not any kind of security risk. If the latter were the problem, presumably her keeping quiet about boycotts would not be enough to persuade them to admit her.

That conjecture is also supported by the fact that the Israelis initially decided to let her and Rep. Omar enter without speech-related conditions, but then changed their minds after Trump pressured the Israeli government to bar them. Again, if the Israeli government thought the two congresswomen posed a security threat, it's unlikely they would have ever decided to let them enter in the first place.

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  1. Shorter Ilya:

    Anyone from anywhere should be allowed into any country for any reason and never be required to leave.

    1. You say it like it is a bad thing.

      1. Yes, it is a bad thing to anyone who is not a complete moron.

        1. Complete morons banned.

        2. i wonder when obama denied entry to isreali kineset member ben ari in 2012, if everyone was so “distressed”. dont recall the outrage.

          1. You mean the guy so wrapped up in terrorist organizations he wasn’t allowed to run in Israel’s elections shortly thereafter?

            That only shows how unthreatening these Congresswomen are in comparison.

            1. That’s an interesting invention you’ve made up there, considering that Ben-Ari DID run in the elections “shortly thereafter”.

              I mean, maybe in your world he “wasn’t allowed to run”, but in this world – reality, he did run.

              So, other than being 100% wrong, did your fable have anything to add?

      2. You say it like it is a bad thing.

        Perhaps returning the favor and invading to end the dictatorships and insttute freedom is ok?

        I don’t address the practicle issues, just the moral ones.

    2. along with collecting benefits / welfare, etc while lambasting the country’s culture

    3. Want to see heads explode, invite Putin to address Congress.

    4. Libertarianism means submission to invasion by those who advocating your genocide.

      1. Basically. One isn’t allowed to do anything to protect ones self if it means violating a principle! And when the other team cheats you’re just supposed to accept it and chide them for being rule breakers… While losing the whole way down the line.

  2. Some views, such as those that support Nazism, Racism and Socialism, have no place in decent society. It’s bad enough that extremists in extreme districts have chosen to elect people like Steve King and AOC to Congress. Good for Israel for keeping such odious views out of it’s country. Hopefully they would do the same for Steve King as well.

    1. Let’s not lump in AOC with a bigot like Steve King ffs.

      1. Why not, she’s a bigger racist that he is.

      2. She’s plenty bigoted and if we’re being realistic, her enmity toward others if far more likely to make it into law than King’s ever will.

    2. i would rather give them a megaphone and then provide counter speech.

  3. Depends on the country and the prospective visitor. Maybe it’s bad optics, but maybe there are more important things long term than optics.
    I can imagine a lot of Brits who would not have been enthused to let Charles Lindbergh into the UK in the 40’s, for example.
    Israel is a tiny besieged country.
    Don’t compare their political culture with ours.

  4. “For example, the Russian Provisional Government in 1917 arguably should have barred Lenin from reentering the country.”

    Yeah, arguably.

    I mean, sure, it’s not a great look for Israel. On the other hand, I’m not sure that the objective of the two reps wasn’t simply to agitate. Subsequent to the decision their official agenda was made public and they entitled it their visit to “Palestine”. And apparently their trip was being sponsored by a virulently anti-Semitic group that among other things still spreads the “blood libel” bullshit. It’s almost as if they were begging to be turned away.

    1. The fact is that had they gone there and done that, they would have had challengers pop up throughout their district saying This ain’t why we elected you. Both districts are overwhelmingly (maybe 90%) white/black/Hispanic not Arab or Somali. Those challengers – regardless of party – would have been very well-funded, screened for basic competence and interest in the issues that actually affect the district.

      And they would have obliterated those two at the next election. Tlaib ran unopposed (absent a last minute challenge from the Dem she beat in the primary). Omar beat two normal Dems in the primary and walked over what looks like the usual token sacrificial R in that district (and caliber of those candidates is usually more comparable to L’s or G’s).

      Now? They’re heroes. Standing up for free speech against a dictatorial and censorious Trump and Netanyahu. Just assured their re-election.

      1. this does show the consequences of partisan gerrymandering (and excessively large districts) though. With no competitive election districts – only extremists run, voter turnout drops, and the other party just abandons that district. And the result is that in much of the country, we don’t actually have even a two-party system. We have a one-party system with 90% of the incumbents decided long before the ‘election’.

        1. It’s much more self sorting of the electorate into where to live than gerrymandering. The Senate is almost as polarized and has a similar re-election rate (high 80s) as the House, and you cannot gerrymander a state.

          1. Self sorting is the whole deal. I’m throwing in the towel on my formerly moderate state, because it’s now gone hard left never to return. I will now be casting useless votes in a right leaning state instead of a left leaning one… Because all the purple states I know of are red ones on the way to blue, and I don’t want to move to another place like that.

            As far as house stuff, the only way to make them competitive would be to put a small sliver in the big city, then fanning out into the rest of the state. Otherwise it will be landslides one way or another in all the districts.

      2. Those challengers – regardless of party – would have been very well-funded, screened for basic competence and interest in the issues that actually affect the district.

        I’m curious what evidence you rely on to claim that the DNC screens their political candidates for basic competence. The available evidence seems to point in exactly the opposite direction.

        1. ZING

          Also, true.

      3. “Just assured their re-election.”

        What do you think Trump’s motives were?

        Making these two and the third stooge the face of the Democratic party is part of the plan. Nancy is worn out as a boogie woman, these three will do in a pinch.

      4. The fact is that had they gone there and done that, they would have had challengers pop up throughout their district saying This ain’t why we elected you.

        Traveling to visit family isn’t perfectly acceptable for politicians.

        And their foreign policy view were precisely one of the reasons they were elected.

        Those challengers – regardless of party – would have been very well-funded, screened for basic competence

        They may not be policy wonks, a significant number of congress people aren’t, but I’ve never seen a lack of “basic competence”.

  5. “For example, the Russian Provisional Government in 1917 arguably should have barred Lenin from reentering the country.” Arguably?

    1. Sure. Likewise someone should have shot Hitler in 1922.

      Decisions are so easy with 20-20 hindsight.

      Meanwhile back in the real world, or rather the world of academic yapping, if the Russian Provisional Government had barred Lenin from re-entering the country, Prof Somin would have been front and center whining about politically motivated barriers to free movement.

      1. Yup.

        The thing is, sometimes violating principles is “mean” or whatever… But that doesn’t mean it’s not practically smart and beneficial.

        In fact, often times the most cruel acts can be incredibly practical. People have always known this, which is why pragmatism instead of principle usually rules the day in human history.

    2. Wait, let’s look at this. In Ilya’s opinion, a speech based restriction is reasonable “to prevent some great harm, for example the takeover of the government by some oppressive political movement.”

      Now, let’s ask what the BDS movement demands.

      1. A right of return, that would end up installing Hamas or another anti-Jewish government, into a nation that contains millions of Jews.
      2. A demand that Israel remove any static defenses between itself and Gaza, while Gaza continues to launch dozens of assaults at civilian targets within Israel. Giving in to such a demand would result in mass casualties in Israel.

      Based on Ilya’s logic, restrictions against people who advocate such a policy are entirely logical.

  6. Among libertarianism’s fatal flaws is the counsel to hold one’s fire until the enemy actually does a bad thing. That is after you’ve seen the whites of his eyes, and when he’s sticking a knife between your ribs. No thanks, I’ll pass, because I’m a reformed libertarian who understands that ideas can kill you, and you shouldn’t tolerate such ideas, or the people who promote them.

    1. When Libertarians start talking about free movement of people etc… they start sounding like one world government advocates. Very communist of them.

    2. Preach!

      Libertarianism with a few exceptions is the way to be. Purist libertarian thinking is simply delusional and suicidal. If the Founders had been purists, the USA never would have existed! And would that have been a better world than what their libertarian-ish ideas created? Obviously not. But they had carve outs for dealing with reality.

  7. This is all good and reasonable thinking on the subject, and in principle I agree with Ilya. But, it turns out that Tlaib and Omar are being sponsored on this trip by a group that spreads old-timey blood libels against Jews, and they were also scheduled to meet with a terrorist-connected NGO while in Israel. The totality of the circumstances in this case justifies denying their visit.

  8. When did Somin start at the Volokh? I don’t see anything in the Volokh archives from 2009 about how Mike Savage (reaffired in 2011) or Mark Steyn were banned from England, and for less.

    1. But you see. Anyone who speaks negatively about any non-white group (or homosexual) is JUST LIKE Hitler, and therefore should not be tolerated. Anyone who hates whitey (including Jews, unless it’s Jews against Christians, in which case Jews are no longer white) is fair game.

      1. Reason is fine with YouTube dictating who can and cannot appear on their property, but Israel cannot do the same within their territory.

    2. Somin was one of the earliest bloggers at Volokh. His libertarian posts closely track two things: (1) DNC policy positions; and (2) whatever book he’s selling.

      Browsing the archives I did find this amusing article:

      http://volokh.com/2011/02/14/why-alien-invasions-of-earth-fail/

      I’m curious what libertarian principle distinguishes alien invasions across national borders (such borders enjoying a long history of legal support) from alien invasions across planetary borders (which, as far as I can tell, have no support in the common law).

    3. I also can’t help but notice that Somin didn’t say a word when Michael Ben-Ari was barred from entering the US during the Obama Administration. He couldn’t even be bothered to mention it here, even though it’s spent all day floating around the same media he’s linking.

      1. Good point!

  9. I’d be satisfied if each Member of Congress simply upheld her oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Some Members conveniently forget the portions of the First Amendment which protect hate speech, vast swaths of the Second Amendment, etc.

    Before condemning the policies of other governments, we might be wise to focus on our own government and the deplorable behavior our own elected representatives. Can we at least agree that we should condemn a Member of Congress who fails to adhere to her oath?

    1. Why pay for House members visiting foreign lands? What business do members of the House have to do with foreign policy anyway?
      That is solely in the hands of the president and, secondarily the senate, who approves treaties and ambassadorships.

  10. This is why people think that Libertarians are anarchist.

    It’s perfectly reasonable for Country A to refuse entry to politicians from Country B who have spoken quite strongly against Country A. Omar and Tlaib both promote boycott and divestment against Israel. Why in the world would they expect to be welcomed there?

    Trump can spout off on this all he wants, but this isn’t about Trump. It’s about Israel protecting itself.

    1. Israel doesn’t protect itself. Americans protect Israel.

      Currently, at least.

      1. Well no.

        Not a single US soldier has been assigned, wounded or killed protecting Israel. Israeli soldiers seem to do just fine on their own.

        Now talk about Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia…

        1. The US has given quite a sum of money to Israel for defense (and asks that they pay it back to our defense contractors.)

          You’re oblivious if you think just because soldiers aren’t there that America doesn’t pay for some of Israel’s defense. Hell, even the threat of hard power on behalf of Israel is payment enough.

          1. Weapons.

            Yup Israel buys those f-35s with money given near all spent inside US and tests them out against Iranian air defense. First to go up in battle. You go inside Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and McDonnell -Douglas and you will find Israelis. Raphael’s Trophy system is being adapted by the US for tank defense.

            The technology is shared. Israel is the tip of the spear.

            1. Echo, you are a clueless idiot who knows nothing about defense.

              You think it’s a soldier with a sidearm that protects Israel?!?

              No.

              It’s the entire defense-intelligence-economic-law enforcement-diplomatic establishment that protects Israel and our allies and ourselves.

              Does a solider with a sidearm:

              Monitor international money transfers?
              Intercept communications?
              Establish covert human assets?
              Provide satellite coverage?
              Analyze signals intelligence?
              Build allied networks to share information?
              Secure the oceans?
              Develop secure global platforms (e.g. secure transportation, communication, economic, financial, supply, etc. systems )?

              These are the things (and many others), which establish a more secure world.

              Not a soldier with a sidearm.

              1. Does Israel do every single one of those?

                Yup it excels at all of them.

                Sidearms I did not mention. You did.

              2. Yet, ultimately, it’s an 18 year old male with a rifle on the street corner that wins a war or not, no matter how long the logistics chain behind him.

                1. In Israel that includes 18 year old females.

                  1. I’m not sure why you felt the need to add that, but that’s not entirely accurate either. Not in combat brigades. There are some women acting as border guards for Israel with countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel.

                    1. Only because the female soldiers deserve at least a mention for the service.

                      They are no less valuable.

  11. What does it mean to be sovereign, if you can’t make decisions like “who is invited in?”

  12. The thing is this banning is partly if not largely a protective measure. It doesn’t honestly abridge speech but does disallow a platform and in that regard is a non-issue because no country is obliged to provide anyone with a platform.

    Moreover it protects the guest potential speaker as well as the potential hosts. I can’t imagine Omar and Tlaib receiving a wonderfully warm welcome as they arrive in Israel and I can certainly see violence breaking out depending on the individuals in attendance by the “welcoming” committee however unofficial that committee may be.

    In another sense they’re just focusing the BDS movement back in upon itself and in standing with the Old Testament; turnabout is fair play.

    1. Actually it is a consequence of their prior speech.

  13. These two should be expelled from Congress under Art. 1 Sec. 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

    1. No, repeal the 14th Amendment and strip them of citizenship.

    2. How about we just expel you instead?

  14. So much for the cure to bad speech is more bad speech.

    Buncha statists up in here.

    1. “So much for the cure to bad speech is more bad speech.”

      Please explain for us how anybody’s speech is being suppressed here. Thanks.

      1. State action from both US and Israel based on speech.

        1. “State action from both US and Israel based on speech.”

          The US didn’t do any “action”. A Trump tweet stating the obvious is not a US action based on speech.

      2. You don’t understand how a comment like, “Strip them of their citizenship [for the things they have said].” is seen by everyone but you–if this remedy were actually enacted–as suppressing their speech??? The mind boggles.

        1. “You don’t understand how a comment like, “Strip them of their citizenship [for the things they have said].” is seen by everyone but you–if this remedy were actually enacted–as suppressing their speech??? The mind boggles.”

          Change the subject much? This isn’t about “send them home”. The key phrase in your non-response is “if this remedy were actually enacted”. News flash, it wasn’t. It won’t be. If anything this story is the opposite – it’s not “send them home”, but “keep them home”.

          And at this point, given the folks they were planning to hang with in Palestine, you have a hard time denying that they’re both anti-Semitic as can be. Apparently you and Sarcastro are fine with racism and hate as long as it’s the right flavor of racism and hate.

    2. Like Israel, the US has restricted entry to foreigners that actively campaign to overthrow the government for centuries. Almost every government has.

      But shouldn’t you be happy? After all, you’ve campaigned for this – government action in response to hate speech! Aren’t you happy to see your vision of government upheld?

  15. What is funny is watching the Left squirm with its Jew hating ways when those are put right in its face. The best the media can come up with is “Israel enacting Trump’s Muslim Ban” which doesn’t even really make sense. Well it does if you are a leftie journo who doesn’t want to cover the fact that these two Congresswomen have sordid pasts involving a decent amount of Jew hatin’.

    1. Israel is not all Jews.

      1. Did you forget the part where they recently affirmed their existence as a Jewish ethnic state?

        1. Superstition-infused right-wingery is the bestest right-wingery of all!

          Not much of a shelf life, though . . .

          1. Resentment infused guilt and grievance left wingery is the bestest left wingery of all!

            Not much of a shelf life though…….

            Cuz people grow up. Haha.

        2. …what are all these Jews doing outside of Israel then? And how dare some of them disapprove of Israel’s policies?

          Crazy anti-Jew Jews.

          1. Sarcastro

            Holding our ground.

          2. I am as pro Israel as can be. I understand why the Israeli government is no going to allow some platform for a few grandstanding Congress critters.

            They have all the free speech they wish.

          3. “…what are all these Jews doing outside of Israel then? And how dare some of them disapprove of Israel’s policies?”

            The group that was sponsoring the trip to “Palestine” for these two innocent victims is known for, among other things, publishing screeds in which they complain because the Jewish-controlled media is causing white supremacists to have a bad reputation.

            So there actually IS some white supremacy you support, it’s just got to have a heavy dollop of anti-Semitism mixed in.

            1. If the guy who offer Trayvon can be a white Hispanic why can’t Israel be white Semites???

              1. Offed not offer.

            2. That group has hosted quite a few member of congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, on the West Bank. Why is it uniquely a problem when it offers to host Omar and Tlaib?

              1. IN 2016, Reps. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D-Pa.), DAN KILDEE (D-Mich.), MARK POCAN (D-Wis.), LUIS GUTIERREZ (D-Ill.) and HANK JOHNSON (D-Ga.) all went on a five-day trip to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by the group [Miftah].

                I’m not sure you want to cite precedence of a guy that called Jews “termites”, a guy that funds and sponsors forums by openly anti-Semitic groups, a guy that called Hamas “Palestinian patriots”, or two guys that take money from Holocaust denier organizations.

                But in case you were serious, let me point out that Republicans did criticize those men and their comments at the time. Also, they actually met with Israeli government officials, and did NOT go into Gaza. All differences from the Anti-Semetic Duo’s plans.

                1. And, too, that was before Israel passed its anti-BDS visitor law.

          4. They are free to advocate anything. Expecting entry as a government official to tear at another country is…odd?

  16. Israel acted at the Trump Administration’s request. I think it’s that request which requires the most scrutiny from an American point of view. This is not simply a matter of a private citizen being barred based on point of view. Here an American President asked a foreign government to stymie a Congressional investigation in further of Congress’ investigative powers. That’s an act of war on Congress’ inherent constitutional investigational powers, its powers to regulate foreign commerce, its control of appropriations to foreign countries, and its substantial role in other foreign affairs matters.

    This is a frontal attack on the powers and prerogatives of Congress. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with the political views of these particular members.

    1. If this is enacted a Muslim ban why wouldn’t we let them leave the country then not let them back in. I think that would be a more effective ban. Plus these two whiners are annoying. No one is going to care if they never come back.

    2. Their visit was not in furtherance of a Congressional investigation. It had no connection to any of their Congressional duties. It was a visit set up and sponsored by a BDS supporting group. They had no visits or meeting set up with Israeli political leaders, but were meeting with terrorist associated Palestinians.

      They had a chance to be a part of a real Congressional group examining ME issues that visited Israel, but refused to do so citing their opposition to meeting Israeli politicians.

      They had repeatedly called for a boycott of Israel. Now, Israel boycotted them

      1. Who gets to determine legitimacy of Congressional purpose?

        1. Who cares? What part of foreign nation is sovereign don’t you get?

        2. I said nothing about legitimacy. Their trip had NO Congressional purpose so no one has anything to determine.

          But you knew that didn’t you? Just a desperate attempt on your part to give some sort of credence to these two women.

          1. Congress is a political body, Trump’s tantrum seems strong evidence that the visits had a political nature, hence I see a pretty clear argument for a “congressional purpose”.

        3. Whose “congressional purpose”?

          How self important can these “congresspeople” get?

          Haha

      2. Absolutely correct Goju. And you can add, as one of the commenters above noted, that the group that was paying for their trip has espoused blood libels in the past. And, oh yeah, their official requests were not to visit Israel, but to visit the non-existent country of “Palestine.”

        1. Just as Congress has the power to decide whether, for purposes of international commerce regulation and the like, Jerusalem is part of Israel or an international city, it also has the power to decide whether a state called Palestine exists or not.

          Here again, the fact that one strongly, zealously opposes something as a personal or political matter, even thinks anyone who supports it crazy, doesn’t make it irrational as a constitutional matter. Congress and its members have the right to investigate the possibility of taking a different, even the opposite position, on any issue.

          1. Individual members of Congress have no investigatory power. None, zip, nada.

            These two are just citizens outside the walls of Congress..

            1. Bob, if what you say is true, that would put them in a different status than the many other members of congress who have been hosted in Israel, in accordance with an agreement with the U.S. On what basis do you suggest that different, and lesser, status is justified?

    3. Trump controls Israel is a new take on the Dual-Loyalty thing, I must admit.

      Netanyahu had already said that they were considering banning the two anti-Semites in accordance with Israeli law, unless they would pledge to behave. As it turns out, the anti-Semites never intended to behave, because Omar offered to behave, but when the invitation to a well-behaved familial visit was extended, she refused.

    4. Nothing in Article 1, Sections 8, 9 and 10 give Congress any of the powers you attribute to them.
      Only the senate has any control over foreign policy in that they provide consent for treaties and ambassadorial appointments the president proposes.
      Even aid to foreign countries is allocated to the State Department, not individual countries.
      Members of the House have no business in foreign policy.

  17. Y’all want to criminalize Flag Burning as well 1A bedamned?

    1. What does this have to do with anything?

      1. Using the state against dissenting views.

        1. What about banning a foreign official entry because they want to come in and burn a flag?

    2. Burning is not speech. IDK if the Supreme Court said it was, calling a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

      1. Money is speech but expressive action is not. Gotcha.

    3. Some of us are old enough to remember when the Obama administration pressured a Florida resident not to burn a copy of the Koran. Foreign governments exerted significant pressure on the US government to prohibit this man from engaging in protected speech.

      There is also significant pressure from the UN and various other countries for the US to pass laws banning “hate speech.”

      1. Pure tu quoque is never a good sign for your argument.

    4. I don’t think Israel has a 1A.
      We should not expect other countries to adhere to our Constitution, but to decide for themselves.
      Not to mention that our 1A doesn’t protect someone, who openly urges others to take up arms and commit violence.
      The 1A is not an absolute.

  18. Try getting into any any Mideast country with an Israeli stamp on your passport, Forget about it

    1. Hmmm…I got into Jordan (twice), Egypt (twice), and Syria (once). No problem at all. But I do get your point . . . having the Israeli stamp can and does DQ you from getting into some of the Middle East countries. And even the risk of getting turned back at the border/airport is enough of a disincentive. Just correcting your comment that (1) ALL Mid East countries reject passports with an Israeli stamp, and (2) Even those ‘no stamp’ countries often just wave you though with a smile and a friendly wave.

      1. I’ve been to Israel more times than I can count, I’ve never had my passport stamped.

  19. The USA has a long proud history of denying admission to bad people.

  20. How dare those Israelis imagine it’s their country or jurisdiction! Ilya should decide such things.

    1. Ilya must be planning a road show in Saudi Arabia.

    2. Hank. I think you (accidentally? intentionally??) mis-read what Ilya wrote. No one is claiming that Israel had no legal right to do this. I think his point was, “It was a bad decision. It’s a bad decision when America does it. Countries should, generally, NOT be doing this.” Given this premise, why on earth should Ilya (And me. And you.) *not* give an opinion about the wisdom of this action? When a country decided to outlaw abortion (or to drastically liberalize abortion rights) or the same with the death penalty, do you feel like your voice has no right to be heard? That seems like an oddly insular attitude to take about world events.

      It’s perfectly valid to point out that the OP is not a resident or citizen of the country in question. But I think we’re all better off hearing thoughtful takes on the actions taken by other countries . . . even thoughtful takes I quite disagree with.

      1. Link to any contemporaneous condemnations?

        Was Somin authoring these sorts of opinions in 2012 when it was Obama blocking the entry of an Israeli?

        1. Jews doing something is always different.

  21. I created an account, logged in and have gone out of my way to type this.

    Ilya Somin is a tedious read. I get it. Orange Man Bad. He will figure out how to make the legal case against Trump, or preferred Trump actions, just give him a second. No matter how common sensical, or ancient the practice, like saying keeping people who wish your country conquered, out, Ilya will be along to explain how Trumps presence in favor of it, whatever it is, means it must be argued against. Just give me the general topic, and I will tell you which way the Ilya column will break down, with near perfect accuracy.

    1. Man, you must feel like a perfect idiot to read that Ilya also made it clear that he disapproved of this back when each and every former USA president was in office. But, I guess “Hoover and . . ., and Reagan, and HW Bush, and Clinton, and W. Bush, and Obama, and Trump did this unwise action.” does not mesh as well with your reflexive defense of [as you call him] Orange Man.

      To me, it makes much more sense for a blogger to post about noteworthy items. Man bites dog. Not so many articles about dogs biting people. Just like Fox News, over 8 years, never once started off a newscast with “Hey, President Obama just did this amazing thing.”

    2. You needn’t have bothered. Your ignorant, moronic comment just joins the chorus of useless douchebaggery that is the comment section of this blog.

      1. Tell me, do you see any connection between what you posted, and how it applies to your own comment?

  22. I think Israel should allow anyone to enter in an individual capacity, but not necessarily in an official capacity.

    1. Would have been downright tricky to annex the Sudetenland in an individual capacity.

  23. You know how people have friends who encourage them to keep on their diets?

    Netanyahu is being that kind of friend to these Congresswomen.

    They believe in boycotting Israel, but they almost slipped up and visited the country, which would presumably have involved putting money into Israel’s economy. Thus cheating on their boycott “diet.”

    Netahyahu simply reminded them of their boycott pledge and held them to it.

    1. Bibi is a mensch.

  24. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right.

    You are seriously going to argue that the Israeli government has a legal and moral obligation to let hostile foreign politicians into the country for photo ops and propaganda?

    As US citizens, Tlaib and Omar have a right to free speech in the US; they don’t have a right to speak or travel anywhere else. That’s both true under US law, under international law, and the universal declaration on human rights.

    I suggest you review your first your law texts if you are confused on these points.

    1. But you tube can block Project Veritas because muh private property.

    2. I see no problem with the assertion that freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. it just means that nobody should interfere with anyone’s freedom of speech, and that doing so would be a moral wrong and, in a just world, punishable.

      It’s true that we do not live in a just world and that freedom of speech is not a legal right everywhere in the world.

      1. I see no problem with the assertion that freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. it just means that nobody should interfere with anyone’s freedom of speech,

        No, that’s not what it means. What freedom of speech means (at least to libertarians and liberals) is that it is impermissible for the state to prevent people from expressing their opinions.

        It is certainly permissible for me to prevent you from speaking on my private property or using my private publishing platforms.

        and that doing so would be a moral wrong and, in a just world, punishable.

        Free speech isn’t about morality, free speech is about liberty. Using the law to impose your views of morality onto others is about the most illiberal thing that you can be do.

  25. Everyone has and is entitled to an opinion. Even Omar has. Israel is entitled to protect its sovereignty anyway it deems appropriate–it, too, has a right to an opinion.

    What Omars agenda is wouldn’t be particularly subtle or hard to predict: she’d go there and pretend to see things that she doesn’t see, then lie about them. And then insist that people believe her because she is, after all, a US Congressman. That’s a no-win situation for Israel. As long as they’re going to enter a no-win situation, might as well make it a no-lose one: they’re just not playing her game.

    Ilya has a right to his opinions, too. They just don’t typically coincide with those of people whose judgments I share. While I would prefer he restrict his writings to law rather than politics, he, too, has First Amendment rights….

    1. While I would prefer he restrict his writings to law rather than politics, he, too, has First Amendment rights….

      Somin has progressed from legal analysis, via political advocacy, to straight out hair-on-fire nuttiness.

      1. I think the date on his visa stamp for entry into the straight out hair-on-fire nuttiness territory is quite old.

  26. All the time I have posted on this blog I have supported a powerful legislature, one that actually makes the tough calls on the big social issues, and one that has power to investigate, deliberate, and make bold changes when it thinks it needs to. This is because in my view it is the legislature, not the executive and not the judiciary, that is specially charged with this power. I’m not going to do so here.

    It simply doesn’t matter what I personally think about an issue. Congress and its members must have power to consider and investigate complete reversals of long-standing US policies on issues.

    Just as I think the judiciary has no business overturning the legislature just because they disagree with it, so I think the executive cannot impede individuals members of the legislature from communicating and investigating just he disagrees with them. I see the two issues as similar.

    I’ve defended sodomy laws, Obamacare, all sorts of things because I think denigrating the legislative power just because another branch disagrees with its decisions destroys democracy and leads to tyranny. I’m willing to defend support for Palestinians vis-a-vis Israelis on the same grounds. Once again, this is about the fact that a republican form of governmnent is the best bulwark of liberty and requires a legislature and legislators who are empowered to consider a very wide range of policy options, including ones I may vehemently disagree with. It just doesn’t matter what I personally think.

    1. Sorry, I’m not going to stop doing so here.

    2. Just as I think the judiciary has no business overturning the legislature just because they disagree with it, so I think the executive cannot impede individuals members of the legislature from communicating and investigating just he disagrees with them. I see the two issues as similar.

      And where did that happen? Not in this space-time continuum.

      Trump tweeted his opinion; he didn’t interfere with anyone’s travel plans.

      Netanyahu complied with Israeli law by excluding people who publicly advocated BDS.

      1. Israel was prepared to admit them up to the moment Trump says he wanted them excluded.

        If Don Corleone had tweeted they ought to be dead and they were killed, would you say that he had merely expressed an opinion and had nothing to do with it?

        1. Israel was prepared to admit them up to the moment Trump says he wanted them excluded.

          Israel would have admitted them only in order to curry diplomatic favor with the US in the first place; without their status, they would have been rejected without even a second thought.

          As long as Trump doesn’t make any binding commitments, he has the power to speak on behalf of the US in diplomatic situations. In this case he said “heck, if I were you I wouldn’t let these racist, socialist pricks into my country either”, signaling that there was no diplomatic reason for Israel to make an exemption.

          I still don’t see where you think the will of the legislature was subverted by the executive branch in either country.

          1. . . . without their status, they would have been rejected without even a second thought.

            That puts it in a nutshell. But not the nutshell you seem to think it belongs in. Trump doesn’t get a power to deny their status to members of congress. It is their election which gives them that status. It is not within Trump’s legitimate power to take it away.

            All the blather about anti-semitism and hostility to Israel is completely beside the point. This is about the U.S. system of government, and Trump’s abuse of it.

            1. Trump does not HAVE the power to “deny their status”. Nor did he attempt to do anything like that. He performed no official acts, ordered nothing, and did not in any way use the powers of the US government, much less abuse them.

              Israel chose to follow their laws and deny entry to two enemies that want to destroy their nation. If Trump’s personal opinions played a part in the decision not to grant a special exemption to Omar, only the Israelis know for sure. But Tlaib WAS offered an exemption – the one she asked for – and then refused to accept exactly what she asked for.

              This was never an honest attempt to visit Israel. It was a PR performance in anti-Semetic bigotry. And now that all the facts are out there, anyone still trying to defend the two bigoted anti-Semites is revealing a lot more about their own beliefs than anything Trump has done.

              1. Toranth, thanks for more beside-the-point blather. Trump said he contacted someone in Israel (whom he refused to name), prior to Israel doing a 180 on its previously-negotiated policy of allowing admittance to all members of congress. All reported in today’s NYT.

                1. Yes, and that is perfectly ok. Trump has the right and the authority to do so.

                2. Again, how is this abusing the power of the government?

                  You have failed to state any way that Trump used the power of the government to do ANYTHING.

                  All you done is “blather” about Trump, while ignoring that the entity acting here is ISRAEL. Can you even comprehend the idea that Trump does not control Israel?

                  1. Apparently Netanyahu can’t comprehend the idea that Trump does not control Israel. But still beside the point. The point is, Trump has no legitimate power to control the congress. If two members of congress want to avail themselves of a travel opportunity which the state department negotiated, and which many other members of congress have used, no power granted by the constitution gives Trump the power to interfere with that.

                    I know you don’t like it Toranth, but Tlaib and Omar were trying to conduct the official business of the United States. They were elected to do that. There was an agreement in place between Israel and the United States to let them do that. Israel was ready to honor the agreement. Trump stepped in because he wanted to thwart these two members of congress. Netanyahu stupidly gave in to Trump. Trump’s ability to make that happen does not make it a legitimate use of his power.

                    1. You still have failed to name the power that the president has supposedly abused. Heck, even Somin isn’t arguing abuse of power, he is arguing that what Netanyahu did was a bad idea.

                      There was an agreement in place between Israel and the United States to let them do that.

                      Was it a treaty ratified by Congress? No. Therefore, it was within the power of the president to change that agreement, just like the president could legitimately cancel Pelosi’s airplane trip. And agreements like that change all the time when conditions change; in this case, we have two socialist representatives calling for the destruction of Israel; it would be diplomatically unwise to exert pressure on Israel to let them into the country. Of course, the power to make the decision was Netanyahu’s alone.

                      Apparently Netanyahu can’t comprehend the idea that Trump does not control Israel. But still beside the point.

                      So you are saying that because Netanyahu did what Netanyahu wanted to do all along, Trump controls Israel? In your absurd reality, “go ahead, make your own decision, we won’t punish you either way” is “controlling Israel”?

                      We were “controlling Israel” when we had a agreement in place that said, effectively, “we will punish you unless you let every member of Congress enter Israel”. We stopped controlling them when Trump ended that pressure. And he stopped it for good cause: trying to force Israel to let in the likes of Omar and Tlaib against Israel’s wishes would be unconscionable.

                      You really are the good little leftist imperialist who thinks the US should use its military and diplomatic might to force other countries to our will, aren’t you?

                    2. Um, no, things Congressmen do as individuals, like visit their family, does not become “the official business of the United States”.

                      The sovereign state of Israel obeying its own laws to ban the presence of hostile foreigners does not rely on any power of the US Government. Trying to claim that Trump controls Netanyahu and Israel is absurd.

            2. Trump didn’t take anything away from them. He did not interfere in their freedom of movement or their freedom of speech.

        2. If Don Corleone had tweeted they ought to be dead and they were killed, would you say that he had merely expressed an opinion and had nothing to do with it?

          I would say that it wasn’t an abuse of executive power, since Don Corleone is not part of the executive branch, and since Tweeting does not constitute use of executive powers.

        3. “Israel was prepared to admit them up to the moment Trump says he wanted them excluded.”

          Israel was prepared to admit them until Israel received a copy of their agenda and saw that they were visiting “Palestine” and were going to be hosted by and chumming around with a group that is flagrantly anti-Semitic. It’s debatable whether Trump had any influence on the decision at all.

          I know you think the world revolves around Trump, but in reality he’s just a blowhard huckster with a Twitter account and a lot of free time on his hands…….

      2. “Netanyahu complied with Israeli law by excluding people who publicly advocated BDS.”

        Except he also said they’d let Tlaib in later to see her grandmother.

        1. Netanyahu can make humanitarian exceptions (in this case with conditions), another power granted to him by the legislature.

          Again, where is the abuse of power you see?

          1. Right in front of you.

            1. Wait, it is an abuse of power NOT to grant special exceptions to people that want to kill you, just because they want the special privilege?

              Is that seriously the argument you are going for?

            2. You haven’t named any power he has supposedly abused. Not even Somin has.

      3. “Just as I think the judiciary has no business overturning the legislature just because they disagree with it…”

        How about overturning executive decisions? Is that all right with you?

    3. “Just as I think the judiciary has no business overturning the legislature just because they disagree with it, so I think the executive cannot impede individuals members of the legislature from communicating and investigating just he disagrees with them. I see the two issues as similar. ”

      You need to work out some details… like, for example, how your opinion handles the difference between “the legislature” and “individual legislators”.

      Yes, Trump trying to keep one of his critics from seeing her grandmother is more than a little bit of a dick move. It is also not in any way surprising. Soon enough, he won’t be President and he will have a chance to be on the receiving end of having chosen to make so many enemies. Putin can only help him win one more election, at most.

  27. did a child write this article?

    1. Yes. He writes a number of articles.

  28. Ilya, you must be the most self-defeating, almost ideologically suicidal ‘libertarian’ I’ve ever encountered.

    You not only want a sort of welfare state to allow entry to anyone who wants to enter, making it into a magnet for people who WANT it to be a welfare state. You deny that countries are not even entitled to bar entry to their outright enemies!

    These demands guarantee that the US will continue evolving away from libertarianism! Is this deliberate? You’ve got some sort of ideological death wish?

    The only step left down this road is to assert that it’s immoral to refuse entry to armies!

    1. I’ve met people like him before. They basically think that it’s their moral duty to convince all 7 billion people in the world of the virtues of libertarianism, and if they fail to do so, that the ideology deserves to die.

      That’s why they don’t see it as suicidal.

    2. “You not only want a sort of welfare state to allow entry to anyone who wants to enter, making it into a magnet for people who WANT it to be a welfare state.”

      Whereas the kind of libertarian state you want is one where the government gets to tell you what to do and where to do it. That’s not evolving away from libertarianism… that’s already at the destination of “not libertarian”.

      1. Libertarianism was a feasible goal back in the 70’s, or at least I thought it was. I don’t think it’s even on the table at this point, the left has gone so nuts, the welfare state has become so expansive, and the leadership on the right have given up even pretending to care about limited government.

        At this point I just want to save the country of my birth from destruction, not perfect it. But that doesn’t mean we have to take affirmative actions to make libertarianism even less plausible.

        “Whereas the kind of libertarian state you want is one where the government gets to tell you what to do and where to do it.”

        You’re going to have to clarify what you mean by that. What I want is the kind of libertarian state where, if you’re already a citizen, the government stays out of your face, but if you’re not a citizen, find someplace else to live.

        A kind of libertarian nationalism. Somin wants a government that runs on universal utilitarian principles, where the interests of non-citizens count as much in determining government policy as the interest of citizens.

        Screw that, if government is to have any justification for existing, it is the benefit of its citizens, and the interests of non-citizens should at most be a side constraint.

        1. You want a libertarian government that gets to tell you what you to do and when to do it.

          No, thanks.

          1. Nope, I’m a citizen. I want a libertarian government that distinguishes between citizens and non-citizens. I wish people who aren’t citizens of America all the best… and for them to experience it somewhere else.

  29. Iran could have barred Khomeini. Might have been a good choice.

  30. ” its targeting of Israel for sanctions, while ignoring the many nations with far worse human rights records”

    How many of the worse human-rights records countries are run by democratically-elected governments, and how many by dictators? I don’t imagine there is much effect in trying to appeal to the population of a dictatorship to change the national policy. One might wish that, say, North Korea would undergo a substantial regime change, but one definitely won’t achieve it by boycotting North Korea.

    1. How many of the worse human-rights records countries are run by democratically-elected governments, and how many by dictators? I don’t imagine there is much effect in trying to appeal to the population of a dictatorship to change the national policy.

      Listen: it’s not our business how other countries conduct their affairs. It’s not our business to democratize the world, or to prevent genocides, or to prevent wars, or to adjudicate conflicts. If you want to do any of those things, you can personally go over wherever you want to go, join whatever group you want to join, and put your life and your money on the line; do not force others to do it for you.

      Israel is not our business, The Palestinians are not our business. There shouldn’t be any “congressional delegations” to the Palestinians at all. Tlaib is abusing her power but getting involved in the conflict in the first place. She arguably is violating her oath of citizenship because she swore that she had left all allegiances behind, yet obviously is violating that.

      Trump, OTOH, didn’t “abuse his power” by removing diplomatic pressure from Israel; he acted within the bounds of executive power, and furthermore did the right thing.

      You are the kind of person who proclaims good intentions by sticking his nose into other country’s business, and then when millions die (as they do over and over again when the US gets involved) says “oh, how awful, no one could have seen that coming”. You’re utterly reprehensible.

      1. Israel is not our business, The Palestinians are not our business. There shouldn’t be any “congressional delegations” to the Palestinians at all. Tlaib is abusing her power but getting involved in the conflict in the first place. She arguably is violating her oath of citizenship because she swore that she had left all allegiances behind, yet obviously is violating that.

        Hey, dummy/Trumpkin: Tlaib was born here. She did not therefore need to take any “oath of citizenship” at all.

  31. I mean, since it’s well known they basically just are showing up for a photo op to be used to hurt Israel’s economy, I don’t know why Israel should allow them. If we knew that a foreign politician was visiting the States with the stated goal of damaging our international standing and economy then I’d like the State Department to think long and hard about approving that visa/passport.

    1. I also think if they’d refused access to Richard Spenser or Stephen Miller this blog would not have been written, even though the likelihood of those people tangibly harming Israel is far less than the Omar and Tlaib.

    2. ” I don’t know why Israel should allow them. ”

      Because when you try to hide things from your critics, it kind of suggests that your critics are pointing at things you need to hide.

      1. Israel is a free and open liberal democracy. There are oodles of journalists there, free to talk to whom they want and report on what they want. Many of them are massively critical of Israel. What do you think would be “hidden” if these Congresswomen are not granted entry?

  32. “anti-Israel BDS movement”

    I greatly wish that Reason hadn’t invited this cabal of Zionists into its group blog.

    1. If BDS isn’t anti-Israeli, then what is the purpose of the movement?

  33. It turns out that Tlaib also sent a request to Israel to see her grandmother promising to not advocate a boycott. Israel granted the request on the condition she not advocate a boycott. She then refused the visa because of the restriction.

    Bad faith request. Some people just hate Jews more than they love their grandmothers.

    1. ” Israel granted the request on the condition she not advocate a boycott. She then refused the visa because of the restriction.”

      It’s worse than that. Her letter requesting to be allowed to visit her grandmother is online. In the letter she promises to refrain from talking boycott during her visit. It wasn’t something that was a condition of Israel granting her visit, it was volunteered by her in the request to go.

      Israel granted her request, and she immediately made a huge production of not going because of oppression. These two never intended to go in the first place. The provocation of picking Mitfah as a sponsor, the “Palestine” thing, the phony offer to avoid boycott discussion while she was there. This was just elaborate political theater, and a whole bunch of people just took the bait.

    2. Why is this even a story given what we now know?
      …Ilya?…care to weigh in…?

      1. Don’t disturb Ilya; he is wallowing in self-righteous indignation and TDS. It makes him feel good and it improves his standing within his academic community.

    3. She then refused the visa because of the restriction.

      Incorrect, she refused because instead of accepting her promise they demanded a written pledge.

      Her making the promise, and them accepting, is a sign of mutual respect.

      Them refusing the promise and instead demanding her to sign away a right is a depend of subordination and shows a basic lack of respect.

      She was entirely right in refusing their demand.

      1. So she was perfectly willing to do what she offered (and what they asked) but she wasn’t willing to put it in writing?

        If that’s true, it’s even more evidence that she was never honest about her intentions. Honest people don’t have a problem with leaving evidence of their sworn statements.

      2. Incorrect, she refused because instead of accepting her promise they demanded a written pledge.

        She was entirely right in refusing their demand.

        Huh?
        She didn’t refuse that; she did put it in writing.

  34. This is a pretty lame essay. Should gubmints generally live & let live? Sure. In the normal course of events, and all else being equal- gubmint *should* allow people to travel freely regardless of political thoughts.

    But that ideal isn’t a suicide pact- to coin a phrase.

    The itinerary of the innocent, totally-blameless anti-Semites in question specifically calls Israel “Palestine” and there is not a single meeting with any Israeli official. It is designed to eat photo ops and propaganda to help destroy Israel.

    No gubmint is obliged to allow foreigners to enter its territory specifically for the purpose of fomenting unrest and rebellion. To state that they should is to explain why they shouldn’t. A little common sense goes a long way. It pains me that so many legal professionals go out of their way to deny the wisdom of common sense.

    It certainly doesn’t paint such people as geniuses.

  35. I suspect that President Trump wants to bait the Democrats into defending and highlighting their most controversial members (and cities).

    “These Congresswomen are persecuted minorities who simply speak the truth to power!”

    “Baltimore is a fine city and there are fewer rats than Trump claims!”

    1. Going by the evidence, I’d say Trump is a master baiter.

  36. Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib won the day and Trump and Netanyahu got pawned. The banning certainly looked suspicious after their visit was approved in July. Omar and Talib got more free publicity for themselves and their issue. Trump looked petty and vindictive, while Bibi looked like he was afraid of two women. The only reason they were banned is that Bibi is in a fight for his political life. Bibi should wonder if he might be banned from entering the US if Trump loses his reelection.

    BDS=Bibi Derangement Syndrome

    1. while Bibi looked like he was afraid of two women.

      What a sexist thing to say. In fact, Omar and Tlaib are US representatives, very powerful positions; the fact that they are women doesn’t diminish that power (neither does the fact that their are incompetent and evil). Any individual, institution, or nation should be afraid of them because their position grants them enormous power.

  37. “There will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews”

    Golda Meir

  38. So, I believe in freedom and minding my own business and I end up surrounded by millions of Moslems that don’t, and can’t, share my political views because of their religion, what can go right?

  39. her speech is one issue.. but in actively and vigourously promoting certain types of activity directly offensive and harmful to the Israeli, or any other, government is a different issue.
    She is a rabble rouser, holds many values antithetical to our Constitution and life as it is here in the US< and in Israel as well.

    In some very real ways, she poses a threat to Israel as she foments acitivy that is harmful to that nation,and ours.
    If ideas were all she had, and those ideas were not as harmful as they are, it would be a different story.

    But she actively promotes damage. I'd not let her into my home, but would consider meeting her on outside neutral ground but on condition she be able to willingly listen to rational discourse in response to her ideas.

    1. Tionico, have you noticed that you are talking about an elected member of congress, but positing that she should be under your control in the practice of her office? Where on earth do you get the notion you should have that power, or that Trump should have it?

      1. Tionico, have you noticed that you are talking about an elected member of congress, but positing that she should be under your control in the practice of her office?

        Where did he “posit that she should be under his personal control”?

        You’re misrepresenting valid criticism of two representatives as trying to interfere in their official duties; that’s not just absurd, it is the kind of chilling arguments totalitarians engage in.

  40. her speech is one issue.. but in actively and vigourously promoting

    …so promoting is speech.?

  41. What this thread is about is that right wingers are dismayed that Omar and Tlaib legitimately enjoy the powers of elected office. Right wingers want to find some way to take those powers away from them. Problem is, the only way to do that without violating the principles of American government is to beat them in an election—which right wingers are not currently able to accomplish.

    At the least, right wingers will have to wait for an election. Not quick enough, they say, let’s overthrow the system which gave these women power, and take it away from them.

    1. What this thread is about is that right wingers are dismayed that Omar and Tlaib legitimately enjoy the powers of elected office. Right wingers want to find some way to take those powers away from them.

      They are legislators; their official powers are to legislate in Congress. What other “legitimate powers” do you believe they have and how have they been taken away?

      1. He can’t actually name any, as you’ve noticed.
        That’s why he’s trying to claim racism or sexism or “overthrow” of Congress or something (he’s not exactly sure what, it seems, since he keeps changing).

  42. So much stupid… And not even principled either! So banning Lenin from going back to his home country is fine… And banning a legitimate political party (NSDAP) that was becoming very popular, because you don’t like their political views is fine…

    But somehow any and all present examples of people essentially trying to do the same thing are bunk? Puh-leeze.

    I don’t really care if we let people VISIT the USA, but allowing people whose views are against the basic ideas of the US to move here is bunk. NO communist should ever be allowed to immigrate here if that is a known fact. Frankly, until they get full citizenship, if they join communist groups that should be grounds to throw them out.

    I used to be an idiot purist libertarian… But unlike some people I have grown up and realize the world is far too messy and fucked up a place for pure libertarian thinking to actually work. The world could be 1,000% more libertarian than it is now, but there are some issues where the libertarian line doesn’t work.

    This is essentially an argument that people should allow a known ex felon stay in their house… Provided they say they won’t steal your shit, rape your daughter, and murder you like they did to go to jail the first time. On principle that’s a warm, fuzzy wuzzy, optimistic position to take… In reality it’s an AWFUL decision to make. A better one would be to tell that guy if one toe of his ever sets foot on your property you will spray his brains all over the sidewalk, and you better not catch him giving you or your family any funny looks either.

    All this moral high ground nonsense simply doesn’t work in reality. If you’re fighting people who are willing to play dirty, you will lose every time. This is why conservatives and libertarians have lost for the last century + to the leftists. It’s time to give up the moral high ground and start doing what it takes to WIN.

  43. Gostei de ler esse atigo, muito bem estruturado!!!

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