UPDATE: Envoy Says Israel Will Allow Omar Entry
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer was quoted by his spokesman on Friday as saying: “Out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.” Dermer was responding to speculation as to whether the Jewish state would bar US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) under recently passed legislation that allows authorities to deny entry to anyone suspected of supporting the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. Omar presented a House resolution earlier this week saying US citizens should be free to boycott anything as part of their constitutional right to free speech. The Somali-born congresswoman introduced the bill to push back against lawmakers seeking to quash BDS, and recently said she planned to visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories, perhaps with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who is of Palestinian descent and, like Omar, a supporter of BDS. The 2017 Israeli law has been enforced on numerous occasions against activists. Earlier this week, Omar further angered supporters of Israel by saying that fighting BDS would be like fighting the boycott of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.