GOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel

GOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel
© Greg Nash

A GOP lawmaker blasted Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib, says she likely misused campaign funds Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE (D-Mich.) on Thursday after the Israeli government said it would deny the U.S. lawmakers entry to the country, arguing that Israel should ban perceived "enemies."

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksTrump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP Jeff Sessions calling Alabama lawmakers about 2020 Senate bid MORE (R-Ala.) took to Twitter to defend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE’s decision to block Omar and Tlaib from going to Israel on a planned trip this weekend, saying it was the right decision due to the lawmakers' past criticism of the Israeli government.

Omar and Tlaib have supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and Israeli law prohibits those who support a boycott of Israel from entering the country, something Netanyahu noted in announcing the decision Thursday to block the U.S. lawmakers.

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“Like many nations, Israel bars enemies from entering Israel. How can anyone disagree with that?” Brooks tweeted. “Israel bans Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib because they hate, want to hurt, maybe even destroy, Israel. I respect & support Israel's sovereignty & right to exist.”

Brooks was not the only GOP lawmaker to voice support for Israel's decision, with Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Trump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state MORE (R-Texas) also backing up Netanyahu amid backlash from Democrats and several other GOP figures on Thursday.

“Democrat Reps Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib should have come with the rest of the U.S. delegation to Israel,” Roy said in a statement, referencing a recent congressional trip. “Unfortunately they refused to do so and chose instead to make a political show of their trip.” 

“I stand fully with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel regarding their right to deny admittance to anyone who advocates against the interests of Israel,” he added.

The remarks from the two congressmen, who are among the most conservative members of Congress, contrasted with those from other Republican lawmakers who, while criticizing Omar and Tlaib, said they should be allowed to enter Israel.

“[D]enying them entry into #Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state,” Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump Paul's demand to out whistleblower rankles GOP colleagues MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted Thursday. 

“I think all should come,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHarris introduces bill to prevent California wildfires McCarthy says views on impeachment won't change even if Taylor's testimony is confirmed House Republicans call impeachment hearing 'boring,' dismiss Taylor testimony as hearsay MORE (R-Calif.) said earlier this week.

Netanyahu defended his decision Thursday, saying it falls in line with a new Israeli law barring entry to any person who supports the so-called BDS movement. 

“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 BDS movement. 

Omar and Tlaib’s trip, which was set to begin Sunday, was scheduled to take them to Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem. Netanyahu said he would consider a possible humanitarian claim by Tlaib to visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank.