The Heat: Israel denies entry to two members of US Congress

The Heat

Last Thursday Israel announced it was barring two Democratic U.S. congresswomen from entering the country.

A highly unusual move coming shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that Israel would be showing “great weakness” by admitting them. Both Congresswomen — Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — are Muslim.

And both support BDS — the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” movement that seeks, among other things, to pressure Israel into ending what it calls an occupation of the West Bank.

But then on Friday, following an appeal from Congresswoman Tlaib – Israel granted her permission to visit her 90-year old grandmother in the West Bank.

After first agreeing not to promote boycotts against Israel during the trip, Tlaib changed her mind — saying she could not go under what she called “these oppressive conditions.”

CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports from Tel Aviv.

To discuss: 

  • Omar Baddar is a political analyst, human rights advocate and the deputy director of the Arab American Institute.
  • Eugene Kontorovich is a law professor at George Mason University and the head of the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.
  • Debra Shushan is the director for policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now. 
  • Simcha Rothman is a legal advisor for Meshilut – The Israel Movement for Government and Democracy.        

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