The Trump administration is backing the decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to block Democrat Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashda Tlaib from the country. Omar and Tlaib both strongly support the BDS movement, which has a goal of eliminating the country.
First, Netanyahu's explanation:
"No country in the world respects America and the American Congress more than the State of Israel. As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country. In fact, in the past the US did this to an Israeli member of Knesset, as well as to other public figures from around the world."
"Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress. Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy," he continued. "For instance: they listed the destination of their trip as Palestine and not Israel, and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have visited Israel, they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition. A week ago, Israel warmly welcomed some 70 Democratic and Republican members of Congress, who expressed broad bipartisan support for Israel, which was also demonstrated a month ago in a resounding bipartisan vote against BDS in Congress."
"However, the itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it. In addition, the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel. Therefore, the minister of interior has decided not to allow their visit, and I, as prime minister, support his decision. Nonetheless, if Congresswoman Tlaib submits a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the minister of interior has announced that he will consider her request on the condition that she pledges not to act to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit."
And the Trump administration's response:
Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Please read my attached statement with regard to the decision of the Government of Israel to deny entry to BDS activists, Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, in accordance with its national laws. pic.twitter.com/q9M2N1uRkr— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) August 15, 2019
Democrats, however, are livid and are predictably accusing Israel of keeping the Congresswomen out for erroneous or bigoted reasons.
Trump & Netanyahu are afraid to have @reprashida & @ilhan witness first-hand the brutality & dehumanization Israel’s occupation inflicts on the Palestinian people. This bigoted president is working to extend his Muslim travel ban to Members of Congress. https://t.co/hEwL6jmoao— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) August 15, 2019
Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib & Omar is beneath the dignity of the great State of #Israel. @realDonaldTrump's statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance & disrespect, & beneath the dignity of the Office of the President. https://t.co/F2E0g0Wj2T— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 15, 2019
MoC are frequently asked to visit Israel to “see things for ourselves.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 15, 2019
But Netanyahu choosing to ban the only 2 Muslim women in Congress from entering tells the US that only *some* Americans are welcome to Israel, not all.
Trump is exporting his bigotry &making matters worse. https://t.co/PFdMDxuIfJ
You get the idea. I'll leave you with this.
Woman who supports Israel's destruction at the hands of terrorists is super-duper bummed she won't get to visit Israel to "learn from Israelis" and I totally believe all of this, yup I do https://t.co/3XAhDT4kQs— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) August 15, 2019