Knesset Member (MK) for the Joint List Yousef Jabareen has slammed Israel's shock decision to ban US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country this weekend.
In a statement issued today, Jabareen sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, both of whom reportedly had substantial roles in ensuring the ban was issued.
"Netanyahu and Trump: You can't hide [Israel's] occupation and apartheid," the statement read. "When you prevent two American congresswomen from entering the country, you only demonstrate the extent to which the occupation further isolates Israel from the family of nations."
Jabareen also addressed the Michigan and Minnesota Congresswomen:
Rashida and Ilhan: Please know that we appreciate your dedication to justice, peace and equality; you have many partners sharing your vision for the region. We welcome you and hope you will visit.
Jabareen's statement came just hours after Israel announced that its Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, had made the final decision to ban Tlaib and Omar from visiting Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
The pair were slated to land in the country this weekend, but under Israel's 2017 anti-BDS law – which bans supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country – their trip has been prevented.
President Trump has reportedly leaned on the Netanyahu government to prevent their trip, saying in a tweet today:
"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!"