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-CortezSteyer, Biden clash over climate credentials Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit MORE (D-N.Y.) tore into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE after he announced he would not permit Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBooker responds to Onion article mocking Buttigieg over stock photo Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Progressives oppose spending stopgap measure over surveillance authority extension MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Progressives oppose spending stopgap measure over surveillance authority extension Ayanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution 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 PressleyAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability 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 John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate 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.