US Lawmakers Omar and Tlaib Will Not Be Allowed to Visit Israel
Stand for Israel | August 16, 2019
While Congress recently voted unanimously to stand against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, several members have voiced their support for boycotting the Jewish state. And now, The Times of Israel reports, Israel has taken action against Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, barring them from visiting:
Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Thursday that Israel has decided to deny entry to two US congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, over their support for boycotting the Jewish state. The two had been expected to travel to Israel and the West Bank this weekend.
Deri’s move was quickly endorsed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the US government supported and respected Israel’s decision to bar the two BDS-backing lawmakers. The move was immediately panned by left-wing and Arab Israeli lawmakers, some US Democrats and several American Jewish groups…
The announcement, reversing Israel’s previous readiness to allow them to visit, came soon after US President Donald Trump tweeted that letting the two enter Israel would “show great weakness.” Israel’s Channel 12 news reported late Thursday that Trump and Netanyahu were in contact several times in recent days over the issue.
In a statement announcing the unprecedented entry ban on serving US legislators, Deri said the decision was made “after Minister Deri was convinced that [the visit] was part of boycott activism against Israel.” The statement accused the two US lawmakers of “taking advantage” of their prominent political position “to support organizations that call for boycotts of Israel.”
“The state of Israel respects the US Congress as part of the close alliance between the two countries. But it is inconceivable that Israel would be expected to let into the country those who wish to hurt it, including by means of the visit itself,” the Interior Ministry’s statement said…