JCRC Statement in Response to Israeli Government’s Announcement Regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Planned Trip to Israel

August 19, 2019 — 4:45 PM

Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in response to Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol:

“We hope the Congresswomen will have the opportunity to visit Israel and deepen their understanding of the collective Israeli experience. However, their one-sided portrayal of Israel does not advance the cause of peace and reconciliation.”

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August 15, 2019 — 11:30 AM

Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in response to the decision by Israel’s government to not allow Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to visit Israel and the West Bank:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is disappointed by the Israeli government’s decision not to allow Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to visit Israel and the West Bank.  While we strongly disagree with Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib’s support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel and had significant concerns regarding the planned trip, we believe allowing the two Representatives to visit was consistent with their status as members of Congress, and Israel’s democratic character.

“Had Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib been allowed to visit, the onus would have been on them to either experience Israel in all of its complexity, including its robust ideological, ethnic, and religious diversity, or simply seek out experiences which reinforced their negative preconceptions.

“For our part, the JCRC is proud of our efforts to educate about Israel, which includes bringing elected officials from across the political spectrum to engage with a nation and people whose security and future are of paramount importance to our local Jewish community.”

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.