As reported by FoxNews
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Thursday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuof implementing his own “Muslim ban” after his government said it would block her and another Democratic congresswoman from entering Israel.
The move – announced shortly after President Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow them in – has ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu’s government stands by the decision arguing the U.S. lawmakers have an ulterior, anti-Israel agenda.
“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government,” Omar said in a statement. “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected members of Congress.”
Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the other lawmaker barred by Israel, are Muslim. They are also outspoken critics of Israel and have expressed support for boycotts of the country. In a tweet, Tlaib ripped the decision as “a sign of weakness.”
This woman right here is my sity. She deserves to live in peace & with human dignity. I am who I am because of her. The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness b/c the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening. pic.twitter.com/GGcFLiH9N3
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 15, 2019
In her statement, Omar defended her desire to travel to the region, saying the trip is intended to be educational.
“Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories,” Omar said. “Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”
Netanyahu, explaining the decision at length on his office’s Twitter account, said that Tlaib and Omar’s itinerary “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”