Trump Presses Israel to Block Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Trump Presses Israel to Block Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib


Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat who represents the United States Virgin Islands in Congress, was planning to join the trip, and it was not clear whether Israel was considering barring everyone in the delegation, including staff.

It was also not clear why the Israelis were considering stopping the visit, which has bipartisan support in Congress. The Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, said last month that Israel would not deny entry to any United States representatives.

“I feel very secure in this, that anyone who comes with open ears, open eyes and an open mind will walk away with an understanding, just as all these members here do, that this bond is unbreakable,” the House minority leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday, while leading a delegation of 31 Republican lawmakers. “I think all should come.”

Speaking at a joint news conference with Mr. McCarthy, Representative Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, who was heading a delegation to Israel of 41 Democratic representatives, agreed.

Many Israelis and Jewish leaders have also expressed discomfort with the idea that American officials could be denied entry because of their beliefs or criticism of Israel, and it was not immediately clear why Israel’s considerations had changed.

But many here pointed to a recent report by Axios saying that President Trump had told advisers that he thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should bar Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar under a law that denies entry to foreign nationals who publicly show support for a boycott.

Under the law, passed in 2017, Israel can bar entry to people considered prominent advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, a loose network that, among other goals, aims to pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank. Pro-Israel advocates accuse the movement’s supporters of anti-Semitism.



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