Netanyahu could block visit by anti-Israel lawmakers Omar and Tlaib

The prime minister reportedly has authority to bar congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel based on their support for boycotts of the Jewish state.

By World Israel News Staff and JNS

While U.S. lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib recently announced they are planning to visit Israel in the near future, their entry to the Jewish state could be blocked due to their support for boycotts of it.

According to a report earlier in the week by Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authority to block their entry.

While Israeli law dictates that entry can be denied to pro-boycott individuals, the Foreign Ministry can also recommend waivers to the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry to facilitate entry when barring individuals would negatively impact Israel’s diplomatic efforts.

According to the Haaretz report, Netanyahu will be tasked with making the decision related to Omar and Tlaib based on the “possible ramifications on Israel-U.S. relations” of the congresswomen’s visit.

Meanwhile, Omar recently spoke with Al-Monitor about an anti-Israel pro-boycott resolution she plans to introduce in the House of Representatives.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting. And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support … the BDS movement,” said Omar.

On Wednesday Omar told Jewish Insider that she will be going to Israel in a few weeks.

“I am going in a couple of weeks and so I’ll learn more,” Omar told the outlet. “But truly, everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation.”

Since entering Congress in January, Omar has made multiple remarks that have resulted in charges of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias.

In a July 17 interview with “CBS This Morning,” Omar expressed no regrets for those remarks.

“Often times there are things that you might say might not hold weight for you, but to someone else, the way that we hear and consume information is very different than how the next person might,” said Omar.

“So, you don’t regret your words either?” asked co-host Gayle King.

“I do not, but I have gotten the—I’m grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words made people feel and have taken every single opportunity I’ve gotten to make sure that people understood that I apologize for it,” replied Omar.

When asked by King if she would “like to make that clear” she isn’t anti-Semitic, Omar said, “Oh, certainly not.”

“Yes, nothing I said, at least to me, was meant for that purpose,” she added.