Israel Bans Democratic Congresswomen After Trump Tweet

Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listen to the State of the Union speech in February. (AP file photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Shortly after President Donald Trump called for the ban, Israel said Thursday it will not allow two minority Democratic congresswomen who have been critical of the treatment of Palestinians to enter the country next week.

U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are outspoken supporters of the movement advocating the boycotting, divestment and sanctioning of Israel, known by the acronym BDS.

Tlaib’s family came to the U.S. from the West Bank and the two Muslim lawmakers are critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The House approved a formal resolution opposing BDS in late July, which garnered pushback from Omar and Tlaib.

Along with Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Omar and Tlaib are members of the so-called “squad” of progressive Democrats who have feuded with President Donald Trump in recent months.

A new Israeli law allows it to ban activists calling for a boycott of the country.

On Thursday morning, Trump took to Twitter to encourage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to do just that.

“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!” the president tweeted.

About an hour later, Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, told Israel Radio the country will deny entry to Omar and Tlaib, in line with the new policy against those who advocate boycotts of Israel.

 

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