U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski said Thursday he was “disappointed” in Israel’s decision to block the visits of Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
In a news release, Lipinski, D-Western Springs, cited the words of President Donald Trump on the topic.
On Twitter, Trump said that Omar, D-Minnesota, and Tlaib, D-Michigan, “hate Israel.” Trump and other Republicans have called the congresswomens’ statements critical of Israel and its policies toward Palestinians as anti-Semitic.
“Unlike President Trump, I do not believe it would ‘show great weakness’ to allow these two representatives to visit,” Lipinski said. “No matter the issue ... or the statements made, it would seem to be in the best interest of Israel to allow a visit by members of Congress.”
Although the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. initially said the country would not bar Omar and Tlaib from entering, Israel reversed course on that decision Thursday.
“The U.S. and Israel are strong allies, and we must strive to maintain this critical relationship,” Lipinski said.
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, retweeted a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, in which she called Israel’s denial of entry to the congresswomen as “a sign of weakness.”
Trump also had been critical of Omar and Tlaib as members of “the squad,” which refers to four congresswomen of color, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York.