Former Vice President Joe Biden called himself “a stalwart supporter of Israel” in a Thursday tweet, but also said the Jewish state should not have denied entry to two U.S. congresswomen known for their anti-Israel statements and sympathies.
The Democratic presidential candidate wrote, “I have always been a stalwart supporter of Israel — a vital partner that shares our democratic values. No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas — even ideas they strongly object to. And no leader of the free world should encourage them to do so.”
I have always been a stalwart supporter of Israel—a vital partner that shares our democratic values. No democracy should deny entry to visitors based on the content of their ideas—even ideas they strongly object to. And no leader of the free world should encourage them to do so.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 15, 2019
The visitors that Biden referred to were Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who were denied entry into Israel based on their past statements and support for anti-Israeli boycotts.
Their trip was also being sponsored by the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy, popularly known as Miftah. The group has direct ties to supporters of terrorism that are hostile to Israel. (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Promotes Al Jazeera+ One Day After Its Holocaust Denial Video)
“The decision has been made, the decision is not to allow them to enter,” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s Reshet Radio on Thursday, Reuters reported.
President Donald Trump strongly supported Israel’s decision to bar the two congresswomen, commenting that Omar and Tlaib “hate … all Jewish people.” (RELATED: Ilhan Omar To Fundraise For Hamas-Linked Muslim Organization)
“There is no country in the world that respects the US and the US Congress more than the State of Israel. As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
The two representatives had intended to visit Israel from Aug. 17 to 22, with trips to the West Bank and Jerusalem. Miftah routinely accuses the Israelis of war crimes and advocates consumer boycotts of Israeli products.