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 OmarOmar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir Sanders unveils plan for government-funded child care, pre-K Ilhan Omar accuses Meghan McCain of trafficking in 'anti-Muslim smears and hate speech' MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir Sanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms 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 BrooksRepublican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Trump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race 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 RoyGun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 'Medicare for All' will turn into health care for none The advantage of paying for medical care directly 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 RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted Thursday. 

“I think all should come,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump names Pence to lead coronavirus response McCarthy: White House coronavirus funding request 'a little low' 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.