Israel will allow two congresswomen who support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) to enter the country for a visit next month.
The ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Friday that Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, will be permitted entry.
“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer said in a statement.
Under a law enacted in 2017, the state can prohibit any foreigner from entering the country who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.”
The Interior and Strategic Affairs ministries have used the statute to deny visas to several students, activists and artists deemed as political undesirables upon their arrival to Israel.
However, the Foreign Ministry can recommend the law be waived for visiting politicians or government officials based on diplomatic considerations.
In light of statements made by Omar and Tlaib regarding Israel and Jews that have generated a furor, including harsh criticism from President Donald Trump, Haaretz reported on Wednesday that the final decision on their visit would be made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.