Trump: Israel weak if it lets Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar enter country

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed that Israel will not allow the congresswomen from entering Israel.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, OMRI NAHMIAS
August 15, 2019 20:02
3 minute read.
U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN). (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIN SCOTT)

US President Donald Trump called on Israel not to allow far-Left Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib into Israel, and wrote that admitting the two "would show great weakness."

The president tweeted that the congresswomen "hate Israel and all Jewish people, and 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."

The tweet came as Israel decided to ban entry to the congresswomen.

It is believed that pressure from Trump led to Israel's decision.

"Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!" Trump tweeted later.

The congresswomen were expected to arrive on Friday.

The report stated that although Deri has made this determination, the formal decision is currently going through the process of official approval, including the consideration by other parties and factors.

Despite many voices calling to allow the two to enter the country, Deri has reportedly decided to disregard them and proceed with the ban.

The interior minister is responsible for granting visas into the country and would most likely consult the prime minister on this diplomatic issue.

Earlier, diplomatic officials said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weighing the possibility of blocking the expected visit in the coming days.

According to the officials, Netanyahu met on Wednesday with Deri, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to discuss the issue.

“The possibility exists that Israel will not allow the visit in its current form,” the officials said. “Professional and legal teams from the government minister are continuing to study the materials. According to the law, the authority to do so is given to the interior minister.”

In 2017 the Knesset passed an anti-BDS law that blocks foreign BDS activists from gaining entry to Israel. The law, however, has only been implemented sporadically.

If a decision is made to block their entry, it would be a reversal of what Ambassador Ron Dermer said, just a month ago. “Out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” he said.

Over the weekend Channel 13 reported that US President Donald Trump – who has waged a very public Twitter campaign against the congresswoman in an apparent attempt to cast their hard-left views as the face Democratic Party – was unhappy at Israel's original decision not to bar them.

The Washington Post on Thursday reported that Israel informed congressional leaders on Wednesday that an announcement formally barring them from visiting would be made on Thursday. Such a move, however, is likely to lead to an outcry among Democrats and others who will argue that this sends exactly the wrong message about Israel's democracy.

Both House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, who led 41 Democratic congressmen to Israel last week, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is currently here with 31 Republicans, have said that Israel should allow in the two congresswomen.


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