Netanyahu’s Denial of Entry to Omar and Tlaib is Dangerous and Wrong

August 15, 2019

In response to reports that the Israeli government will deny Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib permission to travel to Israel and the Palestinian territory, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement:

“This reported decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu is dangerous, unacceptable and wrong. As sitting members of Congress representing hundreds of thousands of Americans in their districts, Reps. Omar and Tlaib have the same right as every one of their colleagues to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

We may disagree with the views that the members hold on such questions as BDS or with Rep. Tlaib on the two-state solution, but the right approach for a state that values democracy is to welcome criticism and debate, not to shut it down.

The fact that President Trump has already tweeted out his own call for these representatives to be denied entry illustrates that this decision is motivated purely by politics and ideology — not by the interests of the State of Israel. It is an affront to Congress and the American people and does severe damage to the US-Israel relationship — and it must be reversed immediately.”