Monday on CNN’s “The Lead,” 2020 presidential candidate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) explained that “if Israel expects our support,” they could not ban Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from visiting Israel.
Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued such a ban after President Donald Trump tweeting they should be denied entry.
Gillibrand said, “Israel is our greatest friend in the Middle East. Our national security goals are fundamentally aligned. They are a thriving democracy, and we are friends. I think you should be able to have frank conversations with your friends when they’re wrong and I think banning two members of Congress from visiting the country is so short-sighted and harmful. And for President Trump to egg on Prime Minister Netanyahu is shocking. Our president should not be suggesting that women who are serving in Congress today should be denied the right to go to Israel and then when permission is given, restrict their speech. I think it is very harmful.”
When asked how she would hold Israel accountable, Gillibrand said, “I think you would start by having a serious conversation that if Israel expects our support, which they are given readily, to make sure they have military edge which I lead in the U.S. Senate to fund their programs, to protect against missiles, that they should respect the notion that for Congress to offer this kind of support, we have an obligation to visit and to understand the security concerns firsthand.”
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