Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement after Israel banned the two American Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.
Netanyahu posted a defense of his decision on his Facebook page:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
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 ofKnesset, 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.
OUR PREVIOUS REPORT ON THE BAN:
U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) haven’t been shy about their extreme disdain for Israel. The Democrat lawmakers made history when they were the first Muslim women to be elected into the United States Congress. Unfortunately, most of the time they’ve spent in Congress has been mired in controversy, almost all of it was because of their openly anti-Israel views.
The New York Post reports about a planned trip by Democrat lawmakers, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. The two planned to tour the flashpoint site of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday, as well as the West Bank, according to Channel 13.
Their trip was planned by Miftah, a nonprofit organization led by Palestinian lawmaker and veteran peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi, according to the Washington Post.
Netanyahu met Wednesday with Deri, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to discuss the matter, the paper reported.
“The possibility exists that Israel will not allow the visit as currently planned,” a diplomatic official said earlier Thursday, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity. “The professional and legal teams in the Prime Minister’s Office are still studying the material.”
Under Israeli law, backers of the BDS movement can be denied entry to the country, but Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer last month said they would be allowed in out of respect for the US-Israeli relationship.
President Trump — who has criticized the congresswomen on Twitter in an apparent effort to cast their hard-left views as the face of the Democratic Party — was unhappy at Israel’s original decision not to bar them, according to Channel 13.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has denied that Trump had ever given any kind of directive to the Israelis.
“The Israeli government can do what they want. It’s fake news,” Grisham told Axios.
Dana Weiss, Chief Political Analyst, at @NewsChannelIL, Israel’s leading news company just tweeted what she’s claiming is an official announcement regarding the visit to Israel by openly anti-Semitic US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
It’s official: Israel will bar Congresswomen @RashidaTlaib and @IlhanMN from entering Israel due to “suspected provocations and promotion of BDS” at this time the final decision is been drafted and passed for comments before a press release.
It’s official: Israel will bar Congresswomen @RashidaTlaib and @IlhanMN from entering Israel due to "suspected provocations and promotion of BDS” at this time the final decision is been drafted and passed for comments before a press release. https://t.co/YikKaKe97g
— Dana Weiss (@danawt) August 15, 2019
According the Jerusalem Post – Interior Minister Arye Deri has decided on Thursday not to allow pro-BDS congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) to enter Israel. The two congresswomen were expected to arrive on Friday, Channel 12 reported.
The report stated although Deri has made this determination, the formal decision is currently going through the process of official approval, including the consideration by other parties and factors.
Despite many voices calling to allow the two to enter the country, Deri has reportedly decided to disregard them and proceed with the ban.
The interior minister is responsible for granting visas into the country and would most likely consult the prime minister on this diplomatic issue.
Rashida Tlaib, the freshman Muslim lawmaker who wrapped herself in the Palestinian flag to celebrate her election victory in November 2018, has a number of anti-Semitic ties. In March, Tlaib traveled across the country to support an academic boycott of Israel at a California college.
Tlaib is a member of the Facebook group “Palestinian American Congress,” where members often demonize Jews. The group’s founder, Palestinian activist Maher Abdel-qader, was a key fundraiser for Tlaib and organized campaign events for her around the country.
In January 2018, Abdel-qader shared an anti-Semitic video that claimed Jews aren’t actually Jewish, and invented their historical claim to Israel and secretly control the media.
The video, which described Jews as “satanic,” also questioned whether 6 million Jews actually died in the Holocaust.
Tlaib previously came under fire after posing for a picture with Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, a supporter of Hezbollah who believes Israel shouldn’t exist, at her swearing-in ceremony.
The left-leaning Anti-Defamation League demanded an explanation from Tlaib, who told the Detroit Free Press on Friday that she didn’t know who Hamideh is.
Nine months before the controversy, in April 2018, Tlaib posted a picture of herself and Hamideh on Facebook.
Only two months after her inauguration, members of Congress were demanding that Ilhan Omar ben censured for mulitple anti-Semitic remarks Republicans refused to vote “yes” on a sham House resolution that was originally intended to censure Muslim lawmaker Ilhan Omar for her numerous anti-Semitic remarks. The reason they voted against the resolution, “condemning hate,” is because Democrat lawmakers rephrased the resolution so it wouldn’t focus on the anti-Semitism of one of their own members. Instead, the resolution called out hate against Hispanics and gays.
Naturally, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) turned the anti-Semitic case against her fellow Muslim lawmaker into an “Islamophobic” argument, as she tweeted about GOP lawmakers who demanded Omar be removed from the House Foreign Affairs committee over her anti-Semitic beliefs:
Hard to watch Rep. Scalise demand that Rep. @IlhanMN be removed from House Foreign Affairs w/o wondering if it’s steeped in Islamophobia. Ilhan is more than capable of sitting on the committee & making decisions that are in the best interests of her constituents & all Americans. https://t.co/MqzPM1G2FJ
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 7, 2019
Jews on Twitter jumped to the defense of the anti-Semitic lawmakers. We shot back.
Is it less jarring to know you have two Democrat, anti-Semites working as US lawmakers? Or does your allegiance to the Democrat Party come before Israel?
Asking for the roughly 6 million Jews who found anti-Semitism more jarring. pic.twitter.com/Ve4K4e30yX
— 100% FED UP! (@100PercFEDUP) August 15, 2019