President Trump has reportedly advised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from entering Israel ahead of their planned trip to the Jewish state later this month.
The president told U.S. advisors and senior Trump officials that Israel should bar entry of the two freshman congresswomen after they voted in favor of boycotting the country, three sources familiar with the situation told Axios.
“If Omar and Tlaib want to boycott Israel, “then Israel should boycott them,” Trump said, according to the source.
The White House Press Secretary insists Trump gave no such directive to the Israelis.
“The Israeli government can do what they want,” Grisham told Axios Saturday. “It’s fake news.”
Trump allegedly issued the warning about the Muslim lawmakers days after the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution in July to condemn the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement. Tlaib and Omar voted against the resolution.
Days earlier, Omar introduced a resolution of her own that subtly supported BDS without specifically mentioning Israel. That resolution also utilized the Nazi Germany comparison to Israel.
“Whereas Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad, including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” the resolution said.
Tlaib later warned the boycott movement of Israel is no different than the American boycott of Nazi Germany.
“Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people,” the Michigan lawmaker said on the House floor. “In the 1980s, many of us in this very body boycotted South African goods in the fight against apartheid. Our right to free speech is being threatened with this resolution.”
She added: “It sets a dangerous precedent because it attempts to delegitimize a certain people’s political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn’t like.”
In March 2017, Israel passed legislation outlawing foreigners who support an Israel boycott from entering the country.
Foreign nationals who “knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel, pledged to participate in said boycott, or act on behalf of a group or an organization that have done so” are barred from entry, the amendment states.
However, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, said last month the country will not bar the congresswomen.
“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” he said, according to Israeli newspaper.
Omar and Tlaib are scheduled to arrive in Israel Aug. 18, Israel officials told Axios, but the trip is subject to change.
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