The Israeli government on Thursday announced it would not allow U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to enter their country because of their promotion of a boycott movement aimed at destroying the Jewish state.
Omar and Tlaib, both Muslims, support the BDS movement, which stands for boycotting, divesting and sanctioning the Middle East’s only democracy. Their travel plans this weekend include stops in Israel.
But Israel has had a longstanding policy of not allowing BDS supporters to enter the country.
Omar’s brief tenure in Congress has been marked by anti-Semitic tweets that prompted a House resolution condemning hate speech. Back in 2012, she wrote on Twitter Israel “has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Israel’s announcement came Thursday shortly after President Trump lobbied on Twitter for the ban.
Trump said “it would show great weakness” for Israeli officials to welcome them.
“They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.”
He said the congresswomen are “a disgrace.”
The Associated Press reported the move was “a sharp escalation of Israel’s campaign against the international boycott movement.”
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri explained he had consulted with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others.
The decision was based, he said, on the “boycott activities” of the lawmakers.
Deri said it was “unacceptable” for those “who wish to harm the state of Israel” to be allowed in the country.
A number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates immediately issued statements instructing Israel on what it should be doing, which is allowing those in Congress who oppose Israel to visit.
Bernie Sanders said it was a “sign of enormous disrespect” for Israel to ban the two. He told the Israeli government it should change its decision.
DailyMail.com reported Trump said, of the two congresswomen, “Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office.”
Omar and Tlaib both voted against a recent House resolution in the U.S. House condemning the BDS movement.
A petition campaign launched by the American Center for Law and Justice urging that they be removed from various congressional committees and censured.
“Anti-Semitism has no place – especially in Congress,” says the online petition by the American Center for Law and Justice.
It charges that Omar and Tlaib “repeatedly” have engaged in anti-Semitic rhetoric.
“Rep. Omar said that support for Israel is ‘all about the Benjamins’ – a bigoted accusation that Jews control all the money. She’s attacked Jews and anyone who supports Israel as having a dual allegiance – another anti-Semitic trope. Rep. Tlaib said she has a ‘calming feeling’ about the Holocaust,” it states.
“Someone espousing these bigoted views should not have access to classified information or sit on congressional committees such as the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
ACLJ’s Jordan Sekulow has noted that anti-Semitic attacks “are increasing across the country.”
Some 60 percent of the hate crimes committed in New York City alone this year have targeted Jewish people.
A majority of religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States are committed against Jewish people, despite Jews making up not even 2 percent of the population, he said.
“It was less than two months ago that a young man entered a California synagogue with an assault rifle and opened fire, murdering one woman and injuring the rabbi and others. … That terrible attack came just six months after another gunman entered a Pittsburg synagogue with a gun and senselessly killed 11 members,” he said.
“What can we really expect when our own U.S. representative feel comfortable casting hateful anti-Semitic slurs?”
He cited the actions and words of Omar and Tlaib.
WND columnist Rachel Alexander wrote recently about the two newcomers to Congress.
“The current wave of anti-Semitism gained momentum with the election of Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. to Congress. Both are radical Islamists and the first two female Islamic members ever elected to Congress. In February, Omar retweeted a post discussing how she and Tlaib were facing punishment from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for criticizing Israel. She added, ‘It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.’ Benjamins refers to $100 bills, which feature an image of Benjamin Franklin. It was a reference to Jews and money. The phrase comes from a song with the same name by Puff Daddy, who sang about money and used the word Hebrews in one version of the song. Only after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ordered Omar to apologize did she retract her tweet,” Alexander wrote.
“Tlaib sparked outrage when she tweeted in January that people supporting a bill protecting states that penalize Israel boycotters ‘forgot what country they represent.’ Critics immediately pointed out that the ‘dual loyalty’ accusation is a known anti-Semitic line. But she did not delete her tweet.”
Alexander said some believe the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Omar and Tlaib is inciting violence against Jews.
Highland Park, Illinois, Rabbi Evan Moffic warned on a “Fox & Friends” panel, “When Ilhan Omar said ‘It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,’ and she said Israel has ‘hypnotized the world,’ she’s drawing on these stereotypes that have murdered millions of people in the Holocaust, which just happened 75 years ago. … It’s exactly because of that rhetoric.”