GOP Congressmen Protest Obama’s Exclusion of West Bank Jews From Speech
Barack Obama disqualified students from Ariel University from attending his speech this week because they study at a West Bank settlement school.
Ariel University students posted this banner on their Facebook page this week after they were banned from attending Barack Obama’s Thursday speech.
Today four Republican Congressmen wrote a letter to the Obama Adminstration in protest of banning West Bank Jewish students from his Jerusalem speech.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Four Republican congressmen have written a letter to US President Barack Obama to protest the exclusion of Ariel University students from the speech he is scheduled to deliver on Thursday.
Out of Israel’s eight accredited universities, Ariel is the only one that is located in the West Bank. Students from the other seven universities were invited to the speech to be delivered at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
The letter, penned by Representative Bill Johnson (ROhio), also took issue with Obama’s decision not to address the Knesset during this week’s visit to Israel, as his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton did when they visited the country during their tenures in the White House.
It was also signed by Republican representatives Jim Jordan and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio and John Fleming of Louisiana.
“We believe you understand the importance of addressing a nation’s parliament as you have taken the time to address members of parliament in the United Kingdom, Australia and Ghana,” said the letter.
It noted that such an address is a “customary and symbolic gesture that celebrates our shared democratic ideas and the special relationship between Israel and the US.”
The letter said that the congressmen understood that Obama had chosen instead to address students, a move that it said was “commendable and encouraged.”
However, the congressmen said, “we are disappointed to learn that students from the University of Ariel, located in the West Bank town of Ariel, did not receive an invitation to hear you speak. Especially since the University of Ariel is the first beyond the Green Line, and is officially and legally recognized by the Government of Israel.”