(JTA) — President Donald Trump lobbied for Israel to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country.
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit,” Trump wrote in a tweet Thursday. “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!”
The statement came shortly after a Washington Post report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weighing banning the two Muslim congresswomen, supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country.
Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., are outspoken critics of Israel and both at times have been criticized for relying on anti-Semitic tropes in their criticism. They are scheduled to visit the country on Sunday.
Axios reported last week that President Donald Trump told advisers he thinks Israel should ban the Tlaib, a Palestinian American, and Omar, who was born in Somalia, from entering the country under the anti-boycott law. The president has repeatedly attacked the two congresswomen, at times invoking rhetoric widely described as racist. Trump and Netanyahu have praised each other lavishly since the Republican took office.
Israel’s Washington envoy, Ron Dermer, said last month that the country would not deny entry to any member of Congress.
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