Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied access to the country for Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Thursday; saying they routinely “deny Israel’s legitimacy” and call for a boycott against the Jewish State.
Read his full statement below:
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.
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.
BREAKING NOW: Israel Blocks Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from Entering the Country
Israel officials confirmed Thursday they will not admit Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar into the country; citing their vocal support for boycotts against the world’s only Jewish State.
“Israel on Thursday announced that it would deny Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) entry to the country during an upcoming overseas trip, according to multiple reports,” reports The Hill.
Israel has decided to bar a visit by U.S. congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar pic.twitter.com/AQ2iyVNxxq
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 15, 2019
Israel denies entry to Democratic Reps. Omar and Tlaib ahead of their planned visit, amid Trump's public push for such a move https://t.co/ZiSS1MH7gL
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 15, 2019
“The congresswomen have supported Palestinian rights and backed the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel. Both have been accused by other members of Congress of using anti-Semitic language, but leaders of both parties had said they should be allowed to visit Israel,” adds the website.
President Trump urged the Israeli government to bar Reps. Omar and Tlaib from the country on social media Thursday; saying “they hate Israel and all Jewish people.”
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!” posted the President.
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
The Israeli government may deny access to controversial Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from the Jewish State in the coming weeks; citing their vocal support for anti-Israeli boycotts.
“An Israeli government official decided Thursday that U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should be barred from entering the country for a planned visit this weekend, according to Israeli media,” reports Fox News.
“The two freshman congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a pro-Palestinian advocacy effort, and Israeli law says those supporting boycotts of the country may be denied entry. The decision to enforce the law against Tlaib and Omar was reportedly made by Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri, but a formal decision and announcement have yet to be made as other parties weigh in,” adds Fox.
HIS DECISION: Netanyahu to Decide if Reps. Omar, Tlaib Can Enter Israel for West Bank Tour
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will decide whether Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be allowed to enter the Jewish State for an upcoming tour of the West Bank; potentially blocking the lawmakers for their calls to boycott the country.
“Democratic U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are planning a visit to Israel and the West Bank in the coming weeks, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether they would be let in to the country, over the support they have voiced for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement,” reports Haaretz.
“Israeli law allows authorities to deny entry into the country by individuals who support boycotting the country. However, the Foreign Ministry has the authority to recommend to the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry issuing waivers for political or diplomatic figures, if it deems denying them entry would harm Israel’s foreign relations,” adds the website.
Ultimately, the decision will be made by the Prime Minister.
Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib introduced new legislation this week defending a boycott of Israel; directly comparing the world’s only Jewish State to Nazi Germany during World War 2.
“U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar proposed a resolution this week supporting the right to boycott Israel, likening the boycott of the Jewish state to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union,” reports Fox News.
“Omar’s resolution seeks to push back against U.S. laws banning the boycott of Israel and affirms the right of Americans to organize boycotts of foreign countries if they so wish,” adds Fox.
“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting… And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement,” said Omar.
The BDS Movement -or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions- is a pro-Palestinian boycott of Israeli companies and products.
“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” Omar said in the resolution introduced Tuesday.
Congressman Lee Zeldin slammed the resolution, saying “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats. Shame on Rep @Ilhan Omar for bringing her hateful twist on that reality to House Foreign today, propping up the BDS movement & blaming Israel for all of its challenges.”
Read the full report at Haaretz.