Published: Fri, August 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel bars Reps. Omar and Tlaib from visiting the country

Israel bars Reps. Omar and Tlaib from visiting the country

Tlaib planned to stay two extra days to visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.

Later in the segment, Marshall pointed out that before she moved to Israel in the mid-1990s, she believed a simplistic narrative that Israelis are "good" and Palestinians are "bad". Omar announced plans for the trip in early July.

Therefore, the minister of interior has decided not to allow their visit, and I, as prime minister, support his decision.

The official, Hanan Ashrawi, was to have hosted Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, on a West Bank tour.

Netanyahu defended the decision, saying it was taken after reviewing an itinerary of the congresswomen's visit that made clear that their "sole goal was to harm Israel and increase incitement against it".

A source who took part in consultations Mr Netanyahu held with Cabinet members and advisers on Wednesday told Reuters that Israel backtracked due to pressure from Mr Trump.

Ms Tlaib, a Palestinian American, was born in MI, and Ms Omar is from Minnesota but was born in Somalia.

Tlaib and Omar had planned to visit Jerusalem and several West Bank cities, starting this weekend.

Lest anyone forget, it was Tlaib who offered not to promote BDS while visiting her grandmother.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations said Friday that even though Rep. Rashida Tlaib's, D-Mich., visit on humanitarian grounds was likely to get approved, she is certain Tlaib and fellow House Democrat Ilhan Omar were planning to use the trip to promote an anti-Israel boycott movement.

"It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the US government", Omar said in a statement.

Last month, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer had said Israel would not deny entry to any member of Congress.

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Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri explained he had consulted with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others.

Deri said he made the decision with the support of Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

The move followed an unusual intervention by Trump and immediately opened up a new battle between Netanyahu and Democrats, who had privately warned that such a decision would be unprecedented and inconsistent with Israel's claims of tolerance and openness.

Under Israeli law, BDS backers can be denied entry to Israel, which says the movement targets the country's very existence - while the BDS backers insist that it is intended as leverage to end more than half a century of Israeli military rule over Palestinians.

Earlier, the White House had signaled the decision would be up to Israel.

According to United States media, their trip was meant to begin on Sunday, and would include a stop at one of the most sensitive sites in the region - a hilltop plateau in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

A tentative itinerary for the trip - obtained by Israel Public Broadcasting's diplomatic correspondent Gili Cohen - initially had the duo departing for Tel Aviv on Saturday before journeying to Jerusalem and the West Bank.

"Omar and Tlaib's support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib's calls for a one-state solution", AIPAC said on Twitter. The delegation would see the Al-Aqsa mosque, where crowds of Israelis and Palestinians clashed Sunday as Jewish and Islamic religious holidays overlapped. Elizabeth Warren of MA.

Bernie Sanders said it was a "sign of enormous disrespect" for Israel to ban the two.

The interior ministry said in statement Thursday that "the state of Israel respects the American Congress, in the framework of the close alliance between the two countries, but it's unacceptable to allow the entrance to the country of those who wish to harm the state of Israel, especially during their visit".

Tlaib and Omar are both freshmen representatives and the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress. Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez, like Tlaib, are US -born. Omar's comments last winter in particular - first her tweet in February that support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins", and then her comment in March about political influences pushing for an allegiance to a foreign country, sparked a reckoning among Democratic lawmakers about Israeli politics and anti-semitism. Her parents eventually immigrated to Detroit, where she was born. All of this has set off a debate in the media, on how to cover Trump and racism.

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