Israel is blocking two US Democratic lawmakers and prominent critics of Israel from visiting.
Omar and Tlaib — the first two Muslim women in Congress — were slated to arrive this weekend, but President Donald Trump had lobbied Israeli leaders to block them from entering the country and lashed out again at the pair on Thursday, POLITICO reports.
BBC reports that both have supported the boycott movement against Israel and Israeli law allows supporters of the campaign to be banned from visiting.
The decision was announced moments after President Trump tweeted that it would show “great weakness” for Israel to allow the two congresswomen into the country, calling them a “disgrace.”
A statement from the Israeli Interior Ministry confirming the ban said it was “inconceivable that those who wish to harm the state of Israel while visiting would be granted entry”.
Last month Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said the two Democrats would be permitted to visit “out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America”.
Trump, who has a close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has frequently fought with the lawmakers and in remarks widely condemned as racist, told them to “go back” to the countries that their families were from.
On Thursday, he took to Twitter to urge that they be blocked, adding that “they hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds”.
Senior Democrats, including longtime pro-Israel advocates, blasted the move.
“It is utterly egregious for the Israeli government to deny entry to two sitting members of the United States Congress,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). “I strongly condemn this decision.”
“Democracies are marked by the ability to express opposing views,” added Lowey. “By blocking entry by these representatives, the Israeli government is missing an opportunity for engagement in dialogue with those they disagree with, instead empowering those who seek to create a wedge between our two countries.”
Democratic presidential candidates also called on Israel to reverse course.
Via BBC / POLITICO