The four first-term congresswomen known as “The Squad” are used to getting their way.
They live in a world where they can say and do anything they want without expecting any consequences.
Well, Israel just put a stop to all of that.
Israel said today it will bar two of the Democratic congresswomen from entering the country ahead of a planned visit over their support for a Palestinian-led boycott movement.
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The decision was announced shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow them in.
The move to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. from visiting appeared to be unprecedented, and marked a sharp escalation of Israel’s campaign against the international boycott movement.
And, certainly Israel understood that Tlaib and Omar were just coming to make trouble — so why should Israel extend any courtesies?
According to the Associated Press, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri issued a statement saying that after consultations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials he decided not to allow Tlaib and Omar to enter because of “their boycott activities against Israel.”
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The two newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib’s family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank. Deri said Israel would consider any request from Tlaib to visit relatives on humanitarian grounds.
Shortly before the decision was announced, Trump had tweeted that “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed them to visit. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.” He went on to call the two congresswomen “a disgrace.”
Israel has sought to combat the BDS movement, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli businesses, universities and cultural institutions. The country passed a law permitting a ban on entry to any activist who “knowingly issues a call for boycotting Israel.”
The decision to ban the congresswomen could further sharpen divisions among U.S. Democrats over Israel ahead of the 2020 elections. Republicans have amplified the views of left-wing Democrats like Tlaib and Omar to present the party as deeply divided and at odds with Israel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.