MINNESOTA — Israel has decided to block Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar — as well as Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — from visiting the country. The move comes after President Donald Trump suggested that allowing them to enter “would show great weakness.”
Omar and Tlaib planned to visit the West Bank on Sunday.
According to the New York Times, the deputy foreign minister of Israeli announced the decision over radio hours after Trump’s tweet.
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“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government,” Omar said in response to the move Thursday.
“Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress. Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories. Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”
“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world,” Omar added.
“The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”