Published: Fri, August 16, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Democratic leaders blast Israel for banning Tlaib and Omar

Democratic leaders blast Israel for banning Tlaib and Omar

Under Israeli law, BDS backers can be denied entry to Israel, which says the movement targets the country's very existence - while the BDS backers insist that it is intended as leverage to end more than half a century of Israeli military rule over Palestinians. Their travel plans this weekend include stops in Israel. But on Wednesday, Israeli officials informed congressional leaders that Netanyahu had changed his mind and Israel would prohibit the two vocal critics of Israel from entering the country, congressional aides said.

Omar's brief tenure in Congress has been marked by anti-Semitic tweets that prompted a House resolution condemning hate speech.

"It would be unfair to expect Israel to treat them differently than anyone else applying to visit the country", said Strauss. Israel's decision had sparked widespread criticism, including from Israeli and Jewish organization who said it was an affront to US institutions to bar the entry of members of Congress.

And fellow Ethics Committee member Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., reiterated her opposition to BDS but said, "I do not believe this is about BDS".

"The Israeli government can do what it wants", press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, adding that reports Trump told Netanyahu he thought the two congresswoman should be barred were "inaccurate".

"The interior minister decided not to allow their visit, and I as prime minister support his decision", Netanyahu said.

The two USA lawmakers have yet to comment on the decision.

Deri said it was "unacceptable" for those "who wish to harm the state of Israel" to be allowed in the country.

Israel's decision on Thursday had been an extraordinary step bringing the longtime U.S. ally into Trump's domestic fight against political rivals at home.

Bernie Sanders said it was a "sign of enormous disrespect" for Israel to ban the two.

Many progressive Jewish groups and Jewish leaders have criticized the Israeli government's decision.

DailyMail.com reported Trump said, of the two congresswomen, "Minnesota and MI will have a hard time putting them back in office". "Representatives Omar and Tlaib are unapologetic anti-Semites and supporters of the anti-peace BDS movement", said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center's associate dean and director of global social action.

"Anti-Semitism has no place - especially in Congress", says the online petition by the American Center for Law and Justice. "Barring Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar due to their political views, despite the fact that they represent over a million American citizens, continues to expose the lie that Israel is a democracy".

Tlaib just made her stuntwork even more clear, and provided Israel with even more justification for its decision yesterday.

The Israeli interior minister had said that he received and granted a request by the Palestinian-American lawmaker to visit her relatives, including her 90-year-old grandparent in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Earlier this week, the Israeli government banned both Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar from coming to the country for a planned trip to meet with residents in the West Bank.

The two newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and have repeatedly sparred with Trump over a range of issues.

Tlaib had "promised not to promote the cause of the boycott of Israel during her stay", in the letter sent overnight, it said. "It's all about the Benjamins, baby", she tweeted in February. It was a reference to Jews and money. "Only after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ordered Omar to apologize did she retract her tweet", Alexander wrote. "If Israel's government hopes to win the support of American lawmakers across the political spectrum, then this visit could have been an opportunity to share views and make a case for why American support for Israel is so important".

"It's all about the Benjamins baby", Ms Omar had tweeted in a reference to the U.S. $100 note, leading to allegations that she was using a negative stereotype for Jews.

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