Israel bans Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib hours after President Trump takes to Twitter

"Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!" Trump claimed on Twitter

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published August 15, 2019 2:18PM (EDT)

Steny Hoyer; Ilhan Omar; Rashida Tlaib; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)
Steny Hoyer; Ilhan Omar; Rashida Tlaib; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)

Israel denied entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., shortly after President Donald Trump urged the Middle Eastern nation to do so on Twitter.

"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. 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!" Trump wrote on the social media platform.

The president posted his tweet after spending the past week urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ban the two legislators from visiting his country, according to the New York Times.

After Trump's tweet, Israel’s Interior Ministry announced that because of its anti-boycott law, the two congresswomen would not be allowed into the country. This refers to a recent House of Representatives resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement, which both Omar and Tlaib support. The pair voted against the resolution.

In a statement explaining his decision to CBS News, Netanyahu said that "as a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel. Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress."

He added that the itinerary developed by the two legislators "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy."

One of America's most powerful pro-Israel lobbies, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), denounced the decision on Twitter, arguing that it does not work in the best interest of either Israel or the U.S.

"We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand," AIPAC wrote in a tweet.

After Israel announced its decision, Trump posted a follow-up tweet, in which he claimed that "Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!"

This is far from the first time Trump has vilified Omar and Tlaib, two congresswomen of color. Last month, he posted a series of tweets in which he said that it was "so interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run."

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough," the president continued in his racist rant. "I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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