PM says ‘sole purpose’ of US lawmakers’ visit was to deny Israel’s legitimacy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explains his decision to bar US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel.

“There is no country on Earth that respects America and the American Congress more than the State of Israel,” the premier says in a statement.

He adds: “Israel is open to all critics and any criticism, with one exception: The law in Israel that prohibits entry to people calling and advocating for boycotting the country, just like in other democracies that bar entry to those who they believe will do harm to their nation.

“The US has behaved this way toward an Israeli member of Knesset and other public figures from around the world,” Netanyahu notes.

“Several days ago, we received their trip itinerary, which clarified that they planned a visit whose sole purpose was to support boycotts and deny Israel’s legitimacy.

“For example, they called their destination ‘Palestine’ and not ‘Israel,’ and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress in the past, they did not seek any meeting with any Israeli official, whether government or opposition.”

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