The Israeli government has stopped a planned visit from two US Congressmen. This is confirmed by the Israeli State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, after rumors have been made that Israel wanted to block the visit.
The two Democratic politicians Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are outspoken about Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians. They have openly expressed their support for a boycott of Israel. Tlaib is of Palestinian descent; her parents are from the West Bank and immigrated to the United States.
Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel respects the US Congress, but the visit of Omar and Tlaib was meant to damage Israel. The American president Trump has also repeatedly spoken about the two and called on Israel to ban them.
He said it would be a sign of great weakness if Israel allowed their visit.
“They hate Israel and all Jewish people and there is nothing they can do to change their mind.”
He also called the two a shame for the US and said earlier that they should go back to the “destroyed” countries they come from. Omar was born in Somalia, Tlaib in Detroit.
The President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has strongly criticized the decision to stop the visit. She calls the decision “below the dignity of the great state of Israel”. The Democrat also lashed out at Trump and called his remarks a sign of ignorance, disrespect and below the dignity of a president.
Israel regularly receives delegations from US politicians, who often visit the West Bank and have talks with both Israeli and Palestinian delegates.