Netanyahu: Omar and Tlaib Wanted to ‘Harm’ Israel With Trip

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The Israeli government on Thursday barred two Muslim U.S. congresswoman from entering the country, minutes after President Donald Trump said any decision to allow them entry “would show great weakness.”

Freshman Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had planned to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Ramallah on Sunday, generating controversy due to their vocal support of Palestine and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In an apparent reversal of Israel’s position to admit all U.S. lawmakers who seek to visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the country would bar Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, because they seek to “harm” the state of Israel.

“There is no country in the world that respects the U.S. and the American Congress more than Israel,” Netanyahu said. “However, the itinerary showed that the congresswomen’s sole intention was to harm Israel.”

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