Tlaib says she won't visit West Bank relatives

Tlaib says she won't visit West Bank relatives

Tlaib didn't elaborate on what signing the letter involved. "This could be my last opportunity to see her", she wrote. Tlaib's office could not immediately be reached for comment on the letter's authenticity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the highly unusual move against Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib necessary, charging that their "sole objective is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it".

But on Wednesday, Israeli officials informed congressional leaders that Netanyahu had changed his mind and Israel would prohibit the two vocal critics of Israel from entering the country, congressional aides said.

"Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me - it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice".

It comes at a time when Jewish groups in the United States have expressed concern over whether bipartisan support for Israel in Washington is eroding.

Under Israeli law, BDS backers can be denied entry to Israel, a move Trump urged in a pair of scathing tweets in which he said the pair - the only Muslim women in Congress - "hate Jewish people", a charge they deny.

No official meetings were scheduled for the USA lawmakers, but they were planning to travel to the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah and spend time in Jerusalem. "Omar and Tlaib openly support whatever will happen to replace Israel with Palestine, Palestinians, and Israelis with nowhere to go but the Mediterranean Sea", Limbaugh added.

After approving Tlaib's request, a statement from Deri's office "expressed hope that she will live up to her promise and that the visit will only be for humanitarian needs".

Deri said Friday he granted a subsequent request by Tlaib to visit the West Bank on humanitarian grounds.

The official decision became public only hours after President Donald Trump fired a missive on Twitter prodding Netanyahu towards that outcome, saying allowing them to visit would "show weakness".

By enlisting a foreign power to take action against two American citizens, let alone elected members of Congress, Mr. Trump crossed a line that other presidents have not, in effect exporting his partisan battles beyond the country's borders.

The Associated Press reported the move was "a sharp escalation of Israel's campaign against the worldwide boycott movement".

Both Omar and Tlaib openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), is "the most prominent effort to undermine Israel's existence", The Daily Wire's Molly Prince noted Friday.

Several on the Right were, by contrast, supportive of Israel's decision to deny entry to people who want to undermine and weaken the country.

Omar and Tlaib have repeatedly denigrated the Israeli nation and government, accusing it of repressing non-Jews, and Omar, in particular, has made a number of statements widely condemned as antisemitic, including by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Supporters say the movement is a nonviolent way of protesting Israel's military rule over the occupied territories, but Israel says it aims to delegitimize the state and eventually wipe it off the map. "I love her and am so proud of her". Both are USA citizens and Tlaib was born in the United States.

For Israel, the willingness to side so pointedly with Trump marks a deeper foray into America's bitterly polarised politics and risks its relationship with Congress.

Both are members of their party's progressive wing - along with Reps.

Arthur Lenk, formerly Israel's ambassador to South Africa, said barring Omar and Tlaib "would be sinking us deeper into USA domestic political quagmire".

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