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Israel Bars Omar and Tlaib, Both Democrats, from Visiting Its Country

U.S. ally has taken remarkable step of stopping a planned outing to its borders by two members of Congress, both outspoken critics

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Israel has decided to prohibit a visit to its country by two congressional lawmakers who have been outspoken critics.

President Donald Trump had tweeted earlier on Thursday about Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) (shown above, second from left) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) (far right).

He wrote in his tweet, in part, “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed” the women to visit.

He also noted, based on their long history of charged rhetoric against the country, that “they hate Israel and all Jewish people, and there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.”

“Israel has decided — we won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told public broadcaster Kan, as Fox News reported.

“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel.”

“In principle, this is a very justified decision.”

Related: Omar Will Not Apologize for Her Anti-Semitic Statements

The decision confirms earlier reports that Israeli officials had been leaning in this direction.

The two lawmakers — both members of the so-called Democratic squad in the House, all progressives and liberal leaning — had planned to visit the country this weekend.

The decision on Thursday appears to be a reversal amid concerns connected to the Democrats’ support for boycotts of Israel.

Trump’s tweet earlier on Thursday made clear his position:

No surprise, of course, that some prominent Democrats are already blasting the decision on Thursday and what they perceive as Trump’s interference on the issue.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 candidate for the Democratic nomination, tweeted almost immediately, “Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering U.S. ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views. This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN [email protected] entry.”

Israeli media outlets had reported earlier on the discussions about banning the freshman Democratic lawmakers due to the lawmakers’ support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Reports had indicated that Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri had made the decision to block the congresswomen, though other individuals were also weighing in, Fox News noted.

Israeli law declares that those who support boycotts of the country may be denied entry to it. Yet waivers can be granted for diplomatic figures, Haaretz reported.

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