Politics & Policy

Trump, Israel Face Bipartisan Criticism after Omar & Tlaib Are Denied Entry

President Trump shakes hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 25, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle lashed out at President Trump and the Israeli government Thursday after Israel announced that it would deny entry to Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who’d planned to visit the country on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement of the decision came just hours after President Trump warned that Omar and Tlaib “hate” the Jewish state. “Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” Netanyahu said, adding that the “sole purpose” of the congresswomen’s trip was “to harm Israel and increase incitement against it.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), while specifying that he disagreed with Omar and Tlaib about Israel, called the move a “mistake.”

Another Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, agreed, saying that the Trump administration “made a mistake” in encouraging Israel to deny Tlaib and Omar entry.

Michigan Representative Justin Amash, a former Republican who is Palestinian-American and has called for impeaching the president, was harsher in his remarks condemning Israel’s decision.

Democrats, meanwhile, had strong words for Israeli officials and the president.

House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey of New York, who is Jewish, said Israel had missed an opportunity by following the president’s recommendation.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, who is also Jewish, echoed Lowey’s sentiment in his own statement.

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