Friedman: Israel ‘has every right to protect its borders’

The U.S. envoy to Israel says he supports the Jewish state’s decision to deny entry to two anti-Israel congresswomen ahead of their planned visit to Jerusalem and Palestinian-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

By World Israel News and AP

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman issued a statement on Thursday following the Israeli government’s announcement that it would bar entry to U.S. lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib over their support for boycotts of the Jewish state.

“[Israel] has every right to protect its borders” against promoters of anti-Israel boycotts “in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons,” said Friedman in the statement.

Friedman called the movement promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) “no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State.”

During her campaign for a seat in Congress to represent the state of Minnesota, Omar called the BDS movement “unhelpful” at an event hosted by a Minneapolis-area synagogue. A week after winning the election, Omar admitted to a Muslim website that she had always supported boycotts of Israel.

One attendee of the event, who requested that his name be withheld, told World Israel News at the time he thought Omar had used a “bait-and-switch” approach during her campaign with regard to her true position on BDS and Israel.

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Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, has openly supported boycotts of the Jewish state.