Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is defending Israel's decision to block an official visit from Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, saying the two lawmakers made it clear their only intention was to "spew hate" and push for policies that would "undermine the Jewish state."
His comments came in a series of tweets Thursday evening.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not allow Tlaib of Michigan and Omar of Minnesota to make a planned trip to Israel. However, Israel said Friday it would allow Tlaib to visit her family in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds.
Scalise wrote: "Reps. Omar and Tlaib have consistently refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and actively support its demise by supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement that calls for a worldwide boycott of Israel's economy.
"By attempting to travel to Israel with an organization that includes members who support terrorism against Israel, Reps. Omar & Tlaib made it clear the only intention of their visit was to spew hate & advocate for policies that would actively undermine the Jewish state of Israel."
And he added: "It's long past time for Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi to stand up to the most radical elements of her conference, and condemn the anti-Semitic vitriol espoused by Reps. Omar and Tlaib, and others in their party, that threaten to undermine our strongest ally in the Middle East."
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