WASHINGTON–The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) responded to the decision of the Israeli government barring Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from visiting Israel. JDCA Executive Director Halie Soifer said the following:
“We strongly disagree with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to bar Reps. Omar and Tlaib from visiting Israel. This decision is short-sighted and highly politicized. Banning members of Congress from visiting Israel is counterproductive because it prevents them from informing their views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by seeing the facts on the ground with their own eyes.
“As strong supporters of Israel and of the U.S.-Israel relationship, we are deeply troubled that this unprecedented decision came at the urging of President Trump. Once again, President Trump has inappropriately interfered in Israel’s democracy, to the detriment of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The best way to fight falsehoods about Israelis with truth, and the best way to refute charges that Israel is anti-democratic is uphold democratic principles.
“Preventing members of Congress from visiting Israel is effectively forcing them to boycott. This is unwise, ill-advised, and counterproductive, and we urge the Israeli government to reconsider its decision.”