President Donald Trump urged Israel on Thursday to bar two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country, warning that a failure to ban the two would constitute a show of “great weakness” on Israel’s part.
In a tweet Thursday, the president accused Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, both first-term Democrats, of ‘hating Israel and all Jewish people’, calling the two “a disgrace”.
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
The tweet came just hours after Israeli media reported that the Israeli interior ministry had decided to ban Omar and Tlaib from entering the country, due to their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Israeli law prohibits entry into the country by supporters of the BDS movement.
Israel has not confirmed the ban, however, and two weeks ago appeared poised to permit the two freshman Democratic lawmakers to enter the country.
Two weeks ago, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer announced that Israel would allow the two to enter, in light of the strong messages he received on the subject from senior House officials.
Tlaib and Omar had planned to visit Israel’s security fence in Judea and Samaria, as well ascend the Temple Mount accompanied by senior Palestinian Authority officials, visit Bethlehem, Hevron, and Ramallah.
The trip was planned by Miftah, a pro-Palestinian Authority NGO cofounded by PA negotiator Hanan Ashrawi. Omar and Tlaib had been scheduled to land in Israel Sunday.