Israel considers banning entry to outspoken US congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Religion News Service | 8/15/2019 | Staff
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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister and other top officials were meeting on Thursday to reevaluate the decision to allow two Democratic congresswomen who support the Palestinian-led boycott movement to enter the country next week.

An Israeli official said they were meeting about an upcoming visit by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib’s family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank.

Official - Condition - Anonymity - Line - Regulations

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said “there is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format.”

While Israeli officials weighed the issue, President Donald Trump tweeted that “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed them to visit. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” the president wrote Thursday, calling the two congresswomen “a disgrace.”

Israel - BDS - Movement - Boycotts - Divestment

Israel has sought to combat the so-called BDS movement, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli businesses, universities and cultural institutions. The country passed a law permitting a ban on entry to any activist who “knowingly issues a call for boycotting Israel.”

Supporters of the boycott movement say it is a non-violent way to protest Israeli policies and call for Palestinian rights. Critics say the movement aims to erase Israel and replace it with a single binational state.

Decision - Congresswomen - Divisions - US - Democrats

A decision to ban the congresswomen could further sharpen divisions among U.S. Democrats over Israel ahead of...
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