Israel announced on Thursday it would deny entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), two Muslim Democratic congresswomen, after President Donald Trump called for the country to block them.

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “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!”

Trump’s tweet follows reports from last week that claimed the president was pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bar the pair of congresswomen from entry into the country.
Omar and Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, are part of a group of four minority first-term female Democratic lawmakers whom Trump famously told to “go back” to their countries of origin in a tweet last month that many people called racist.


“No country in the world respects America and the American Congress more than the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement this week. “As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for, and work to impose, boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prevent the entry of people believed to be damaging to the country.”

Netanyahu also said in a statement he believes Omar and Tlaib wish to “damage Israel.”

Both Tlaib and Omar have vehemently criticized Trump and his administration multiple times and have also spoken out against the U.S. government’s strong ties to Israeli lobbying groups like the the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Omar said she believes the committee holds excessive corporate influence in American politics, was called anti-Semitic by many people because of her remarks and even received death threats from Trump supporters.

Some reporters noted that White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham explicitly denied that Trump instructed Netanyahu to block Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel.


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