US Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar Not Welcome in Israel

US Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar Not Welcome in Israel979
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Israel announced Thursday it would ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country ahead of a pre-arranged visit over their support for the anti-Israeli Palestinian movement.

The news comes hours after President Trump tweeted that Israel would "show great weakness" should it let them in. Asked whether he discussed the topic with the Israeli government, the President said he often talks to "people over there" without giving more details.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed in a tweet that Tel Aviv opens remains to critics except for those who encourage boycotts and divestment.

Netanyahu highlighted that the sole purpose of the Reps. Omar and Tlaib's visit was to encourage the boycott against Israel and to deny Israel's legitimacy. On previous occasions, Netanyahu mentioned that "out of respect" he would not decline entry to any U.S. lawmakers.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying in an official statement that the trip of the two congresswomen only aimed to fuel the boycott movement against Tel Aviv.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among the first to denounce the controversial decision, calling it ''disappointing." She also pointed out that  the move was disappointing, and it was "beneath the dignity of the great country of Israel."

Her colleague, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, also criticized Israeli's decision labeling it as a sign of weakness instead of strength. In Schumer's view, it would only make the bilateral relationships more complicated. 

President's GOP lawmakers in Congress remained silent on the issue with only a very few objections.  To a large extent, the Republicans supported Trump in his efforts to stamp the Muslim-American congresswomen.

Soon before Tel Aviv announced the bar, Trump commented that these congresswomen hated Israel and all Jewish people and nothing could change their minds. He once again called them '' a disgrace'' for our country.

AIPAC, the well-respected pro-Israel American lobby organization, also joined the debate to emphasize that Netanyahu went too far. AIPAC highlighted its disagreement with the views of Reps. Omar and Tlaib on the Palestine's question but it also believed that every U.S. lawmaker should be allowed to experience Israel firsthand.

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota called the Israeli move an insult to our democratic values. However, she said it was not a surprise for her given the ongoing restrictions of the freedom of movement of Palestinians imposed by Israel.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan whose family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank tweeted a picture of her grandmother saying that she had the right to live in peace and with dignity.

What do you think? Do you support or oppose Israel's decision to ban the two Democratic Reps. from entering the country?