Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thursday defended Israel’s decision to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., from visiting the country for a scheduled visit this weekend, saying there need to be consequences for their support of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).
The South Carolina Republican told WLTX-TV that while he understands they are “duly elected members of Congress,” he appreciates why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would feel the need to block them from entering the country, The Hill reported.
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Israeli law allows the country to block people who support boycotts of Israel, but waivers can be given for politicians and diplomats. Early Friday, Israel announced that Tlaib would be permitted to enter the Jewish State if she pledged not to promote a boycott of Israel, which she did.
After it was initially announced, several Democrats and Republicans have come out against Israel’s decision.
“I disagree 100% with Reps. Tlaib & Omar on #Israel & am the author of the #AntiBDS bill we passed in the Senate,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted, “But denying them entry into #Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state.”
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Omar and Tlaib were among 17 members of Congress who voted against a resolution condemning BDS in July. The resolution easily passed.