Tlaib, Omar Hope to Visit a ‘Free’ Bethlehem, Which Has Been Under Palestinian Control for Years

Tlaib, Omar Hope to Visit a ‘Free’ Bethlehem, Which Has Been Under Palestinian Control for Years By Patrick Goodenough for CNS News

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Sunday that she and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) would someday “see Bethlehem and InshAllah [Allah willing] it will be free when we do.”

Omar retweeted her colleague’s post, and added the words, “One day very soon.”

Tlaib’s post came after a Christian organization in Bethlehem posted a message bemoaning the fact that the two Muslim congresswomen would not be visiting the area as hoped.

“Bethlehem was looking forward to welcoming [Tlaib] and [Omar] this weekend,” read the tweet posted on the account of “Christ at the Checkpoint,” a group that addresses “the injustices that have taken place in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

“We were disappointed to learn that their entries were refused by the powers that control our borders; an issue over which we have no sovereignty or say.”

“Christ at the Checkpoint” posted a photo of what appeared to be printed posters welcoming Tlaib and Omar to “Bethlehem, Palestine.”

“Christ at the Checkpoint” hosts biannual conferences, usually in Bethlehem, designed to weaken support for Israel among Christians, especially pro-Israel evangelicals in the U.S. The events are characterized by speakers who oppose Christian Zionism and espouse “replacement theology,” the belief that the church has replaced Israel in God’s purposes for the world.

The Israeli government last week barred Tlaib and Omar from visiting the country, based on their support for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also charged that their proposed itinerary made clear their “sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

(Israel’s interior ministry then approved a request by Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, to pay a humanitarian visit to her 90-year-old grandmother, who lives in a village west of Ramallah, but Tlaib chose not to do so.)

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