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Ocasio-Cortez: Netanyahu sending message 'only some Americans are welcome to Israel'

Ocasio-Cortez: Netanyahu sending message 'only some Americans are welcome to Israel'
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMore than 700 migrant children in Border Patrol custody: report Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (D-N.Y.) tore into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE after he announced he would not permit Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSix ways to visualize a divided America Jamaal Bowman's mother dies of COVID-19: 'I share her legacy with all of you' To address global fragility, we must start locally MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSix ways to visualize a divided America Jamaal Bowman's mother dies of COVID-19: 'I share her legacy with all of you' Democrats urge Biden FDA to drop in-person rule for abortion pill MORE (D-Mich.) entry for an upcoming trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. 

“[Members of Congress] are frequently asked to visit Israel to ‘see things for ourselves,’ ” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “But Netanyahu choosing to ban the only 2 Muslim women in Congress from entering tells the US that only *some* Americans are welcome to Israel, not all.” 

Ocasio-Cortez said in a later tweet that Netanyahu's "discriminatory decision" to ban Omar and Tlaib entry "harms [international] diplomacy," and vowed not to plan any trips to Israel "until all members of Congress are allowed."

"Netanyahu’s discriminatory decision to ban members of Congress from Israel harms int’l diplomacy. Visiting Israel & Palestine are key experiences towards a path to peace," she tweeted. "Sadly, I cannot move forward w scheduling any visits to Israel until all members of Congress are allowed."

Ocasio-Cortez is a close ally of Omar and Tlaib in the House. The group of progressive, freshman congresswomen, along with Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley says image of Black custodial staff cleaning up Capitol after Jan. 6 riot 'haunts' her DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes DeJoy set for grilling by House Oversight panel MORE (D-Mass.), make up a collection known as the “squad.”

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Netanyahu defended the decision to deny entry to the two congresswomen, saying the move is in line with a new law that would prevent any supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel from visiting the country. 

“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” Netanyahu said in a statement. 

Both congresswomen voted against a nonbinding resolution last month condemning the so-called BDS movement.

Ocasio-Cortez also went after President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE, who shortly before the Israeli government’s decision was made public said Israel would show “great weakness” if it allowed Omar and Tlaib entry.

“Trump is exporting his bigotry & making matters worse,” she said. 

The decision to bar Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel marks a reversal for Jerusalem, which had previously said it would let them in, and comes despite remarks from House leaders in both parties saying the congresswomen should be allowed to go on the trip.

The visit, which was set to begin Aug. 18, was organized by the nonprofit organization, Miftah, headed by Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi, and was set to take Omar and Tlaib to Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu said the government would consider a request from Tlaib to enter the West Bank on humanitarian grounds so she can visit her grandmother.

Updated 2:56 p.m.