New reports indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering whether or not to allow “squad” members Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar into Israel for a planned visit.
Both lawmakers have drawn mounting scrutiny for a series of comments many believe to be anti-Semitic, and have openly championed sanctions and boycotts against Israel.
The Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, has been denounced as an anti-Israel group, which both Omar and Tlaib have publicly supported.
Democratic U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are planning a visit to Israel and the West Bank in the coming weeks, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether they would be let in to the country, over the support they have voiced for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The Jewish Insider first reported the lawmakers’ planned trip on Wednesday, noting that Omar said that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories will be the focal point of the trip: “Everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation.”
Israeli law allows authorities to deny entry into the country by individuals who support boycotting the country. However, the Foreign Ministry has the authority to recommend to the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry issuing waivers for political or diplomatic figures, if it deems denying them entry would harm Israel’s foreign relations.
Due to the sensitivity of the congresswomen’s planned visit and its possible ramifications on Israel-U.S. relations, Haaretz has learned Netanyahu would be asked to be the one to make the call on the issue.
Omar and Tlaib broke barriers when they were elected as the first Muslim U.S. congresswomen in November. Omar, who was born in Somalia and immigrated at a young age to Minnesota, and Tlaib, who was born in Michigan to Palestinian parents, have been outspoken about their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, garnering accusations of anti-Semitism for their statements and support for the BDS movement.