Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) plan to visit Israel on Sunday but may not get to because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might bar the two Congresswomen from traveling to the country.
Last month, Ambassador Ron Dermer said they could visit Israel “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.” However, Netanyahu has changed his mind and quietly informed Congress Wednesday that he will bar the two women.
An official announcement was supposed to follow but according to the Washington Post, “after a private backlash from Democratic leadership and some U.S.-based pro-Israel groups, the announcement was moved to Thursday, leaving lawmakers uncertain whether Netanyahu had changed his mind.”
Of course, Trump had to weigh in and encouraged Netanyahu to ban both Reps. Omar and Tlaib from traveling to Israel:
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Omar and Tlaib have stated numerous times that they have no issues with Jews or Israelis but have criticized the Israeli government because neither agree with their policies.
The representatives did not have any official meetings planned with Israeli leaders but wanted to tour the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, and Jerusalem.
***Update: Moments after Trump tweeted and encouraged the Israeli government from barring Reps. Omar and Tlaib from traveling to the country, Israel has officially barred them from doing so.
The Times of Israel has posted a statement released by Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely: