AIPAC breaks with Netanyahu over Omar-Tlaib decision

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Thursday broke with Israel’s decision to bar Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) from visiting the country, saying “every member of Congress should be able to visit.” 

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC tweeted Thursday.

The statement follows Israel’s announcement that the House Democrats will be prevented from entering the country as part of a planned trip over their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.{mosads} 

Israel’s announcement came shortly after President Trump urged the country to bar the progressive lawmakers from entering.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his country’s decision, citing an Israeli law that prohibits entry into the country for individuals who support a boycott of Israel. 

“As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel, as is the case with other democracies that prevent the entry of people whose perception harms the country,” he said in a statement posted to his official Facebook page.

Omar and Tlaib have been vocal advocates of Palestinian rights and BDS. They were among 17 Democrats to vote against a bill to oppose BDS last month. 

Omar has also been publicly critical of AIPAC and its influence in Washington.

In February she tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in reference to the group. Her controversial remarks were widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans, with some saying the remarks were anti-Semitic. 

AIPAC was founded in 1963 with a mission of promoting the U.S.-Israeli relationship. 

Congressional lawmakers lashed out at Trump’s support for Israel to ban the Muslim American lawmakers from visiting the country. 

Trump tweeted it would show “great weakness if Israel allowed” the congresswomen to visit.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Ilhan Omar Rashida Tlaib
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