Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar lashed out Thursday at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after the Israeli government announced that Omar and fellow Democratic lawmaker Rashida Tlaib would not be permitted into the country on their planned trip next week.
Omar, who along with Tlaib was banned from entering Israel under the country’s 2017 anti-BDS law, which bars entry to supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, excoriated not only Netanyahu but the State of Israel, accusing it of a ‘brutal occupation’ of Judea and Samaria, and claimed the Jewish state was implementing a “Muslim ban” drawn up by President Donald Trump.
“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the US government,” Omar said in a statement Thursday following the announcement that she had been banned from Israel.
“Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress. Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories. Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”
“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world. The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”