JERUSALEM (AP) – The Latest on Israel’s decision to bar two U.S. Democratic congresswomen from visiting (all times local):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slamming Israel’s decision to deny admission to two Muslim-American congresswomen, calling the snub “beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel.”
The California Democrat, long a supporter of Israel, also said President Donald Trump’s statements attacking liberal Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar and encouraging Israel to block their planned visit is “a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”
Tlaib, of Michigan, and Minnesota Democrat Omar are critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and many Republicans say Omar’s past rhetoric is anti-Semitic.
Pelosi noted that Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, recently said that Israel would not deny any members of Congress from entering the country. She called the reversal “sad” and “deeply disappointing.”
A top Democratic leader called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and urged him to allow two Muslim-American congresswomen to visit the West Bank.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said the decision by Israel to refuse entry to Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is “outrageous” and “wrong.” He urged Israel to reconsider.
Hoyer had just returned from visiting the region with a congressional delegation and took the lead for House leadership on the issue. He had earlier secured a statement from Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer assuring that no member of Congress would be denied entry, according to an aide unauthorized to discuss the private talks. The aide was granted anonymity.
The two lawmakers are outspoken critics of Israel.
The U.S. envoy to Israel says he supports Israel’s decision to deny entry to two Muslim congresswomen ahead of their planned visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Ambassador David Friedman said Thursday in a statement following the Israeli government’s announcement that Israel “has every right to protect its borders” against promoters of boycotts “in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons.”
Friedman says that the movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel “is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State.”
Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are denouncing Israel’s decision to block two progressive lawmakers from visiting the country.
Top ranking Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York said Israel’s decision to block Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who are Muslims, was a sign of weakness instead of strength and “will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America.”
The two liberal Democrats have been critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Tlaib’s family emigrated to the U.S. from the West Bank.
A close freshman colleague of the two lawmakers, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, said Israel’s move is “bigoted, short sighted and cruel.”
Israel announced its decision shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow the visit.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel “is open to all visitors and all criticism,” but will bar entry to two U.S. Democratic congresswomen over their support for boycotts.
Netanyahu’s office issued a statement Thursday saying that based on Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar’s itinerary for an upcoming visit to the West Bank and Jerusalem, “it became clear that they are planning a trip whose sole purpose was strengthening the boycott and negating the legitimacy of Israel.”
The prime minister said Israel had welcomed 70 Republican and Democratic members of Congress “with open arms,” and that “there’s not a state in the world that respects the United States and the U.S. Congress more than the state of Israel.”
The decision was announced shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow the congresswomen in.
Tlaib and Omar are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and have been the subject of repeated attacks by Trump in recent weeks, including a series of racist tweets last month.
Israel’s deputy foreign minister says the government has decided to bar two U.S. Democratic congresswomen who support the international boycott movement from entering the country.
Tzipi Hotovely told Israel Radio in an interview Thursday that “Israel has decided not to allow” Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota to visit as planned.
She says it is in keeping with a policy of denying entry to those who advocate boycotts of Israel.
Her remarks came shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed them in.
The two newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib’s family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank.
President Donald Trump says Israel should bar two Democratic U.S. congresswomen from visiting the country.
Israel’s prime minister and other top officials were meeting to reevaluate the decision to allow Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to visit next week. Both are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and support a boycott of Israel.
Trump tweeted Thursday: “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed” the Americans to visit, claiming: “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.”
Trump has spent weeks now criticizing the members, including sending racist tweets.
The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, had said Israel would not deny entry to any member of Congress.
Israel’s prime minister is holding consultations with senior ministers and aides to reevaluate the decision to allow two Democratic Congresswomen to enter the country next week.
A government official said Thursday that Benjamin Netanyahu was holding consultations about the upcoming visit of Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and that “there is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and advocates of a boycott against the country. Tlaib’s family immigrated to the U.S. from the West Bank.
Last month, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said Israel would not deny entry to any member of Congress.