David Friedman, who is the US Ambassador to Israel, said on Thursday that Washington “supports and respects” Israel’s decision to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.
The diplomat made it clear in a statement that the boycott movement against Israel “is not free speech.”
“Rather, it is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State,” Friedman said.
“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,” he added. Friedman was referring to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
“Initially, Israel had indicated that it would accept the Tlaib/Omar Delegation, and use their visit as an opportunity to engage with and educate the delegation members with regard to Israel’s vibrant and robust democracy, its religious tolerance and its ethnic diversity,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, the itinerary of the Tlaib/Omar Delegation leaves no room for that opportunity. In contrast to the nearly 70 freshmen members of Congress who just recently completed, or who are currently pursuing, a balanced visit to Israel that includes meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Tlaib/Omar Delegation has limited its exposure to tours organized by the most strident of BDS activists,” Friedman said.
“This trip, pure and simple, is nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support.”
President Trump said in a tweet that the two freshman lawmakers “are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”
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Credit: NY Post