'No Way in Hell': Ilhan Omar Announces Boycott of Israeli President's Address to Congress

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) / Getty Images
July 13, 2023

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) announced she will boycott an address by the Israeli president to Congress next week.

"There is no way in hell I am attending the joint session address from a President whose country has banned me and denied @RashidaTlaib the ability to see her grandma," Omar said on Wednesday, referring to the scheduled July 19 address by Israeli president Isaac Herzog.

She added that because Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu "barred the first two Muslim women elected to congress from visiting the country," Herzog should not be invited. Netanyahu issued the ban in 2019. Tzipi Hotovely, the then-deputy foreign minister, said at the time that the country bars entry to "those who reject our right to exist in the world."

Herzog is making the trip to Washington to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Israel's founding.

Omar has a history of making anti-Semitic statements. In 2012, she invoked an anti-Semitic trope, tweeting, "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." In 2019, she suggested pro-Israel politicians were paid off, saying, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

The announcement comes a month after the far-left "Squad" Democrats Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) boycotted an address by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

"A joint address is among the most prestigious invitations and honors the United States Congress can extend," Ocasio-Cortez said ahead of Modi's June remarks. "We should not do so for individuals with deeply troubling human rights records."

Omar and Tlaib cited human rights and the treatment of Muslims in the majority-Hindu country.

"It's shameful that Modi has been given a platform at our nation's capital—his long history of human rights abuses, anti-democratic actions, targeting Muslims & religious minorities, and censoring journalists is unacceptable," Tlaib tweeted.

Published under: Ilhan Omar