“Israel has a law on the books that makes promotion if you have an alien – that is, a non-Israeli – who is promoting this BDS movement, which is “is ‘Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanctions.’ They rightly consider that an attempt to dismantle and ultimately destroy the Jewish state,” McCarthy said.
“They have a law on the books that says that is a reason to exclude someone from coming into their country.”
At the urging of President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited Omar and Tlaib’s anti-Israel statements in enforcing travel restrictions, saying the government would bar them from entering Israel.
Tlaib and Omar had planned to visit Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank on a tour organized by a Palestinian group and support the Palestinian-led international movement boycotting Israel.
“You don’t have a right to go into another country. It’s a privilege to be allowed to come in,” McCarthy stated. “These were U.S. lawmakers who were non-Israelis who agitate against Israel and who said they weren’t even going to Israel!”
On Monday, a State Department spokesperson said: “Israel, like any country, is sovereign and has the right to pass its own domestic laws and make decisions about the entry of individuals into its country.”
After originally denying Tlaib, last week Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Tlaib had been granted permission to enter the West Bank to see her aging grandmother. In accordance, the Minister’s office released a letter that it said was from Tlaib, which promised to respect travel restrictions during her visit.
However, shortly following the announcement, the congresswoman tweeted she wouldn’t allow Israel to use her love for her grandmother to force her to “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”
Deri quickly retaliated, tweeting that Tlaib’s hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley continued the administration’s criticism of the two lawmakers on Monday, amid reports that Democrats may be planning reactive moves in Congress against two top American and Israeli diplomats in response to Israel’s decision: “Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have a well-documented history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic social media posts and anti-Semitic relationships. Israel, has the right to prevent people who want to destroy it from entering the country — and Democrats’ pointless Congressional inquiries here in America cannot change the laws Israel has passed to protect itself.”
McCarthy added, “It was a political stunt from the beginning and I was glad to see that they called her on it because once she said, ‘Oh, never mind. I don’t want to come in the first place,’ I think it put the lie to the whole escapade.”
The two freshman House members said they would discuss “potential policy responses” to Israel’s decision during a news conference on Monday.
“She’s allowed to say whatever she wants to say as long as she stays on the right side of incitement,” McCarthy told Smith and Scott. “But, that doesn’t mean that her statements don’t have consequences. And, while she can’t be prosecuted for them, people can take natural action in response to them.”