Israel Poised to Block 'Squad' Members Tlaib and Omar From Visiting Country
Congresswomen have stated their support for the Boycott of Israel
Democratic 'squad' members Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota may be blocked from entering Israel because of their support for an anti-Israel pro-Palestinian movement, according to reports.
According to one Israeli report cited by other media, the country said the decision had been made to ban the two Democrats.
Both congresswomen, who are Muslim, have stated their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which aims to penalize Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.
The Democrats were "informed," on Wednesday that the two congresswomen would be denied entry to Israel, and that the party is bracing "for a new public fight" with rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Washington Post.
This weekend, Tlaib and Omar are scheduled to arrive in Israel.
The congresswoman's trip has been organized by Miftah, a nonprofit organization that seeks a "sovereign, independent, and inclusive Palestinian state, which grants Palestinians their basic rights, preserves their dignity, and enjoys international recognition and respect."
One Israeli government official told CNN:
"There is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format. Professional teams and legal counsel in various government ministries are continuing to examine the decision."
A new law that permits the denial of foreign nationals' entry visas if they have backed a boycott against Israel or the disputed territories could massively affect the decision.
Aaron Keyak, the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, told the Washington Examiner:
"This reversal is counterproductive, to say the least, and gives a victory to the BDS Movement. All Members of Congress would benefit from visiting Israel and seeing the diversity of the people and richness of the culture."
"This action also sets a dangerous precedent for the many other countries — many led by dictators and ruthless thugs — that US elected officials visit."
"A painful moment for those of us who care about a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and fight for the cause of peace.”
Last month, an Israeli civil rights NGO filed a motion with the Jerusalem District Court to ban Democrat US congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Israel.
Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Centre called on the Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to forbid Omar entering Israel due to her support for the BDS movement, Ynet news reported.
According to its website, Shurat HaDin is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies to help fight terrorism and safeguard Jewish rights through legal actions.
In July, Omar proposed a resolution supporting the right to boycott Israel as she compared the Jewish state to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The Democrat's resolution looks to push back against U.S. laws banning the boycott of Israel while supporting the right of Americans to organize boycotts of foreign countries.