Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that banning the visit by U.S. Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was meant to prevent them harming Israel. The two representatives have been vocal critics of the Israeli government and Trump’s unwavering support of Netanyahu. They also voted against a nonbinding resolution condemning a Palestinian-led movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions in Israel, which they have repeatedly defended. Tlaib has accused Israel of “racist policies.”
“There is no country in the world that respects the U.S. and the American Congress more than Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “However, the itinerary showed that the congresswomen’s sole intention was to harm Israel.”
Netanyahu added that if Tlaib, of Palestinian descent, submitted a request to visit family members in the occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds, Israel would consider it as long as she promised not to promote a boycott against Israel.