Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib are presenting Israel with an opportunity that Israel would not be able to organize on its own. I believe that they are hoping that they will not be allowed to enter Israel, providing them with the headlines that they seek. Instead, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin should extend an invitation to visit and tour the country. They should arrange meetings at the Knesset and the president’s house for the Congressional delegation as well as with leaders from the various communities within the state.
The red carpet should be rolled out with visits to the Old City of Jerusalem, including the main Christian sites and Temple Mount. The entire proposed itinerary should be made available ahead of time to all media organizations.
In addition to touring the country, visits must also be scheduled to the southern border towns, the burned out areas that were created as a result of the arson attacks and the Gaza border where the “peaceful demonstrations” are taking place. If they refuse to travel to these areas, a tour should still be scheduled for the media and publicized as “The Reality They Refused to Experience.”
Israel must not miss this opportunity to “turn lemons into lemonade.”
Howard J. Cohn