Ilhan Omar Slams Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for ‘Muslim Ban’

United States Representative Ilhan Omar has responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Thursday, August 15, Netanyahu announced that Omar and fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib would be banned from entering the country on a planned trip by the nonprofit organization Miftah. The duo was supposed to go to Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jerusalem to visit different social groups and humanitarian workers.

The ban of the first two Muslim women to be elected to United States Congress came shortly after President Donald Trump said it would be a “disgrace” if Netanyahu allowed them into Israel.

Omar did not hold back when responding to the news.

“It is an affront that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the US government,” Omar said in a statement. “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress. Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories.

“Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”

The freshman Congresswoman added the decision from the Israeli Prime Minister “is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”

Tlaib has also commented on the ban by sharing a photo of her Palestinian grandmother who lives in the West Bank.

The hits kept coming, too.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

For his part, Netanyahu has defended his decision while saying that Tlaib could be granted access to the West Bank if she promises not to encourage boycotts against Israel.

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