Barred from Israel: U.S. Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar
President Trump Interferes
Israel, a sovereign nation, has the right and authority to deny access to anyone for whatever reason. This goes without saying for any country with borders.
The controversy is about whom they denied access to: American congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (an Palestinian with family in Gaza) and Ilhan Omar, whose past controversial anti-Israel statements that have many Americans angry because of the racist rhetoric against Jews. She is from Somali and came America at an early age and is a U.S. citizen.
Neither congresswomen show much support for Israel and always lean pro-Arab or Palestinian on Middle East Issues. Not many American members from the U.S. Congress have their entry blocked and dozens frequently visit Israel. Both of these members have promoted boycotting Israel for their treatment of the Palestinian problem and support a two state solution, while Trump supports a single state solution that benefits Israel.
Israel only was notified of their visit a short time ago and it became clear to their immigration that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and to undermine Israel's legitimacy. Further, neither woman requested any meetings with any Israeli officials but were planning to visit Gaza. Further, the trip was being for by an NGO called Miftah, a group who advocates a blockade of Israel! The point of their trip was obviously to agitate Jews and advocate support with Palestinian blockade.
Jewish law also denies entry to those who advocate such activities.
What is odd for any U.S. President to do is to interfere publicly with this matter, which is entirely an Israeli decision. It is not clear whether the Israeli decision was made prior or after Trump tweeted:
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
If the Israelis were undecided until Trump's tweet, then POTUS interfered with the decision. Of course, Trump will simply state that he was expressing his opinion that happens to have great weight! Still, but the optics certainly make Trump look like a bully on the world stage. Had the Israelis allowed them in, one can only guess what Trump would be tweeting and you know it would be derogatory against Israel.
In any case, it was the right decision.