Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Thursday that Israel will deny entry to far-left freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over their support for the BDS movement.
“Israel has decided — we won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Hotovely told Israeli public radio, according to the Times of Israel.
“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” she added.
Hotovely’s announcement followed a Channel 12 report stating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weighing a proposal to block the “Squad” members from entering the Jewish state upon their arrival on Sunday.
In 2017, Israel enacted a law that prohibits a foreigner entry who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.” The Interior and Strategic Affairs ministries have used the rule to deny anti-Israel activists entry to the country.
The decision comes after Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said last month that Omar and Tlaib would be allowed in the country.
“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” said Dermer.
President Donald Trump in recent days reportedly voiced disapproval to White House aides regarding Israel’s decision to allow the Democrat congresswomen in and took to social media Thursday to make his displeasure public.
“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,” the president tweeted. “Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
In July, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution rejecting the BDS campaign targeting Israel — a measure Omar and Tlaib voted against.
The resolution, formally known as House Resolution 246, also called for additional security aid to Israel.
Omar previously introduced a measure countering the anti-BDS resolution which affirms Americans’ right to participate in boycotts. Tlaib is a co-sponsor of the bill.
The two lawmakers have sparked various political firestorms due to their repeated antisemitic remarks. Omar garnered fierce blowback for suggesting pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC bribe members of Congress to support the Jewish state. In 2012, Omar accused in a tweet that Israel had “hypnotized the world.” Earlier this year, Tlaib attacked pro-Israel senators, tweeting that they ”forgot what country they represent.”
UPDATE (12:07 P.M. EST): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a statement on the decision, saying, “The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it.”