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 OmarHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' Trump seeks to expand electoral map with New Mexico rally MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Bill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight 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 BrooksGOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker 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 RoyTexas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Lawmakers mark anniversary of Martin Luther King 'I have a dream' speech 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 RubioTrump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted Thursday. 

“I think all should come,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyBudowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hoyer calls on GOP leader to denounce 'despicable' ad attacking Ocasio-Cortez The Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks 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.