Jerusalem - On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks.
Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of the Jewish community after expressing numerous controversial comments regarding Israel and several statements that were deemed anitsemitic.
The congresswoman said she would travel to Israel on the same day that she introduced a new “pro-boycott” of Israel resolution in Congress “affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
Omar’s action was in response to the House Foreign Affairs Committee moving forward with five pro-Israel bills, three of which are resolutions with declarative purpose, and two others bills that seek to sanction supporters of Hamas and to make improvements to the defense and security assistance to Israel.
Israel has a law the grants the government authority to ban pro-BDS activists from entering the country. The law has been used sporadically over the past two years.
A government official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Council was reviewing the issue and would offer him recommendations on how to respond.
According to the dry law, Omar, whose legislation implicitly calls for the boycott of Israel, could be denied entry to Israel. However, due to her status as a US congresswoman, Israel is unlikely to use the legislation which if done, could spark an international crisis.
Yisrael Beiteinu MK Eli Avidar, who is a former diplomat, reacted to Omar’s decision to come to Israel. He said, “Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is coming to Israel to try to improve her relations with Israel supporters in the democratic party. It will not work. She should instead come and meet with former MK Hanin Zoabi and learn how politics based on hate marginalizes you and leaves you forgotten.”