Israel Takes Major Action Against Omar, Tlaib After Racist Comments

Israel just officially banned Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country. Wow, this will certainly raise the stakes in the relationship between Israel and the Dems in Congress.

While Israel has long enjoyed bipartisan support from the USA, this move may complicate the relationship or destroy it.

Most of the Jewish members of Congress are Democrats so possibly Israel is banking on that fact to temper any blow-back, but expect something from the Dems.

From NBC: Israel will bar two pro-Palestinian Democratic congresswomen from visiting the country, in a move that will likely strain relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Democrats in Washington, the deputy foreign minister said Thursday.

Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan both have been outspoken critics of Israel.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister said Thursday on Israeli state radio that the country had decided not to allow Tlaib and Omar to enter.

“We will not permit someone who negates our right of existence in the world to enter the country,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. “As a matter of principle, this decision is very correct.”

Netanyahu held consultations with members of his cabinet Wednesday about the congresswomen’s upcoming visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, a government official said in a statement earlier Thursday.

From Fox News:

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.

The two freshman congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a pro-Palestinian advocacy effort, but 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 reportedly weigh in.

Waivers can be granted for diplomatic figures, however, Haaretz reported. In July, Israel’s U.S. ambassador said the country would not bar U.S. lawmakers out of “respect” for Congress and Israel’s longtime “alliance” with the U.S. President Trump reportedly was frustrated last week when Israel indicated that the congresswomen would be allowed in the country, The Washington Post reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced pressure from Democratic leaders and some U.S.-based Israel advocacy groups that were advising against barring the congresswomen, the Post reported.

The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday that Netanyahu met Wednesday with Deri, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, National Security Council leader Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to discuss the matter.

“The possibility exists that Israel will not allow the visit in its current form,” the officials said at the time, adding, “Professional and legal teams from the government minister [were] continuing to study the materials.” The officials reportedly noted that the decision was ultimately up to the Interior Minister.

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