US Supports Israel Banning Congresswomen For Plan To Fuel 'Economic Warfare' - Ambassador

US Supports Israel Banning Congresswomen for Plan to Fuel 'Economic Warfare' - Ambassador

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th August, 2019) The United States supports the Israeli government's decision to ban US Congresswomen Illhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country considering the lawmakers planned to engage in economic warfare, Washington's Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Israel's deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely said the government barred Tlaib and Omar from entering the country. The two lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and have backed the Palestinian-lead Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"This trip, pure and simple, is nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support," Friedman said. "The BDS movement against Israel... is no less than economic warfare."

The US ambassador said that Israel earlier indicated they would accept the Tlaib/Omar delegation and use their visit as an opportunity to engage with and educate members about Israel's democracy.

Unfortunately, the itinerary of the Tlaib/Omar delegation leaves no room for that opportunity, Friedman added.

"Israel properly has enacted laws to bar entry of BDS activists under the circumstances present here, and it has every right to protect its borders against those activists in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons," Friedman added. "Like the United States, Israel is a nation of laws. We support Israel's application of its laws in this case."

The two US lawmakers had planned to visit Israel next week.

Hotovely told Israel's Reshet Radio that the decision is in line with a policy of denying entry to those who advocate for boycotts of Israel.

President Donald Trump in a tweet on Thursday said it would show "great weakness" if Israel allowed the women to visit.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump's statement "ignorant" while Congressman Ted Lieu slammed the president for working with a foreign power to negatively affect members of US Congress.

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