NYT questions what Trump, Israel are 'afraid of' in blocking Omar, Tlaib visit

NYT questions what Trump, Israel are 'afraid of' in blocking Omar, Tlaib visit
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The New York Times editorial board asked Thursday what President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE are "afraid of" after the Israeli government announced it would bar Democratic Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Minn.) from entering the country. 

The board wrote that it was "sad" that the leaders would risk bipartisan support for Israel for "political points."

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"How sad that two leaders — each desperate to look tough to their own bases — are risking a bipartisan relationship built between these two nations over generations," reads the editorial. "To what end? To win a few political points against two of the newest members of Congress? To capture a few news cycles? To dial up the outrage machine just one more notch?"

"Confident leaders would never have risked so much for so little," the Times adds. 

The announcement of the Israeli government's decision followed a tweet by Trump in which he said it would show "great weakness" for Israel to allow the two congresswomen, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, into the country.

The Times's board disagreed with the sentiment, writing "it is blocking entry by two American legislators who are critics of Israel that shows great weakness."

"It has long been Israel’s mantra that critics of its policies should come see for themselves, and the country is certainly strong enough to handle any criticism from two members of Congress," the board wrote. "Mr. Trump has done Israel no favor."

Netanyahu on Thursday defended the decision to bar the lawmakers, which was based on an Israeli law that prevents people who support an Israeli boycott, which the congresswomen have supported, from entering the country. 

“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” he said in a statement, adding that Tlaib could file a humanitarian request to meet with her family members in the West Bank.