President Donald Trump told his advisers that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should bar Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from entering Israel under its anti-boycott law, according to an Axios report Saturday.
Citing three sources familiar with the situation, Axios reported that Trump told U.S. advisers, including senior Trump administration officials, that Israel should bar both of their entries because they favor a boycott of Israel.
Trump said that if Omar and Tlaib wanted to boycott Israel, “then Israel should boycott them,” according to a source.
Trump’s reaction reportedly came days after the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution last month to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS movement, which Omar and Tlaib support.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham denied Trump ever giving any directive to the Israelis.
“The Israeli government can do what they want,” Grisham told Axios Saturday. “It’s fake news.”
Last month, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu — one of Trump’s closest allies — will have to decide whether Omar and Tlaib can enter Israel and the West Bank for an upcoming tour. According to Haaretz, Israel’s Foreign Ministry can recommend exceptions to diplomatic law to keep BDS supporters out of Israel, but because the two women are federal elected officials, the decision would be left to Netanyahu.
Omar has been accused of anti-Semitism by some on the left and right because of how she’s vocalized opposition to Israel and its discriminatory policies and treatment of Palestinians. Israel passed a law in 2017 that bans foreign supporters of BDS from entering Israel.
Trump sparked controversy last month when he aired a racist screed about “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” who should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Trump’s racist attacks came at a time when four House Democrats — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — were making headlines while butting heads with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Read Axios’ report here.