Following Israel’s announcement on Thursday, Trump tweeted, “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”
Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Earlier in the day, prior to the decision, he wrote, “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!”
Omar and Tlaib chose not to travel with a large congressional delegation that visited Israel last week, including areas governed by the Palestinian Authority.
Instead, they scheduled a separate visit for just the two of them to take place between Aug. 18-22, The Hill reported.
Among other stops, the congresswomen intended to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, known as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.
“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,” Netanyahu said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” he added. “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.”
Netanyahu pointed out the congresswomen’s itinerary listed “Palestine,” not Israel, as their destination, and they specifically chose not to meet with members of the Israeli government during their trip.
“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,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu determined the “sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.”
The top Israeli official added that if Tlaib wished to see her Palestinian relatives, that request would be considered separately, based on humanitarian grounds, under the condition “she pledges not to act to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit.”
Former Democratic New York state assemblyman and staunch supporter of Israel Dov Hikind celebrated the Jewish state’s decision to deny access to Omar and Tlaib.
“Israeli law stipulates the gov can bar entry to those who promote Israel’s destruction through BDS,” he tweeted.
1) resorting to antisemitic rhetoric;
2) demonizination; and
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) August 15, 2019
He added that the lawmakers could have been critical of Israel without “resorting to antisemitic rhetoric” and seeking to undermine “the only Jewish state!”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement she was “saddened by the news that Israel has decided to prevent Members of Congress from entering the country.”
“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” she said. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”
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