Omar, Tlaib respond to Israel barring in Minnesota press conference

Israel's prime minister barred the two from entering the country after a tweet from President Trump.
Author:
Publish date:

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michagin Rep. Rashida Tlaib responded to Israel’s decision to deny the two entry into the county for a planned visit at a press conference in St. Paul on Monday.

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that the two congresswomen, both of whom are Muslim, should not be allowed in because of their criticism of Israel's right-wing policies under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Omar and Talib are supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, also known as BDS, which calls for Israel to be held to account under international law for its occupation of the West Bank and treatment of Palestinian refugees, among other things.

Omar claimed the move barring the pair was an attempt to quiet this opposition.

“The only way to preserve unjust policy is to suppress people’s freedom of expression, freedom of organization and freedom of movement,” she said at the press conference.

After being denied, Tlaib argued she was going to visit her Palestinian grandmother on the West Bank. The Israeli government eventually did grant this request provided she didn't promote her support of the boycott during her trip, but Tlaib said she would not visit the country under Israel’s terms.

“Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart,” Tlaib said in a statement.

Omar and Tlaib would have met with Israeli leadership and military. The two noted that other Congressmen frequently visit the area.

“Such delegations are common occurrences for members of congress,” Tlaib said.

Members of Congress should look critically at the Israeli government's actions, Omar said. Given the aid the U.S. provides Israel, barring Omar and Tlaib’s delegation was not justified, she added.

“This is predicated on them being an ally and being the only democracy in the Middle East,” she said. “Denying entry to members of congress is not consistent with being an ally.”

The congresswomen also brought up guest speakers to talk about personal experiences. One of those speakers was Minnesota resident Lana Barkawi, a Palestinian American whose family decided not to visit family members in Palestine several years ago because they did not feel welcome given the entry process.

“Under Israel’s laws, the decision to allow or deny our entry would have been made by heavily armed soldiers,” Barkawi said. “Ultimately, we did not attempt to visit.”

Carin Mrotz, Executive Director, of Jewish Community Action Minnesota, also spoke in support of Omar and Tlaib. She said Trump’s actions were meant to divide Muslims and Jews.

“Our community has been used as a tool by those who pretend to be concerned about our safety,” she said. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.

Related

Ilhan Omar responds after Indiana congressman questions her PTSD

The Minnesota congresswoman said talks of a possible war with Iran were triggering her PTSD.

How have MN politicians reacted to Trump attacks on Congresswomen?

Trump continued his attacks on Monday, once more targeting Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Israel bars Rep. Ilhan Omar from entering country

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib has also been banned.

Rep. Ilhan Omar pressured over tweet about Sen. Lindsey Graham

The newly-elected congresswoman is under fire for her Tuesday tweet.

Phillips and omar

How did Minnesota lawmakers vote on the border aid bill?

The House backed the Senate's bill funding aid at the border, drawing criticism from progressive Democrats.

Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for allegedly anti-Semitic tweets

Comments she made regarding the role of money in pro-Israel lobbying have led to accusations of anti-semitism.

Ilhan Omar

Republican's campaign letter says Ilhan Omar should be 'hanged'

The candidate has denied the letter, saying his campaign manager wrote it.

Rep. Ilhan Omar addresses controversial tweet on 'The Daily Show'

The Minnesota congresswoman has come in for some criticism for previous social media posts.