Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) are reportedly going to be barred from entering Israel Thursday, a move that critics decried as authoritarian.

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) are reportedly going to be barred from entering Israel Thursday, a move that critics decried as authoritarian. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

'Authoritarian Behavior': Trump Voices Approval as Netanyahu Moves to Bar Tlaib and Omar From Israel

"Another new low as this country abandons all but the pretenses of democracy."

Eoin Higgins

The government of Israel announced Thursday it will bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country after weeks of speculation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would ban the pair from Israel and, by proxy, the Occupied Territories.

U.S. President Donald Trump urged the Israeli government to stand fast, repeating baseless accusations of anti-Semitism against the pair. 

"This is authoritarian behavior," journalist Rania Khalek said of Israel's decision in a tweet.

The news was reported Thursday morning in a tweet by Israeli news channel Mako after days of news articles speculating that the Netanyahu government was considering such a move. 

Israeli news outlet i24 News also reported that the Netanyahu government was prepared to announce the two congresswomen were banned from the country: 

The decision, made by Minister Aryeh Deri, has not been released to the public but is expected soon.

As final deliberations on the matter are currently making its way through the Interior Ministry, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage the Israeli government not to back down.

In a statement, Tlaib and Omar's fellow member of "The Squad," Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), said that she stood with her colleagues. 

"They are duly elected members of Congress and we cannot allow them to be marginalized, discriminated against, nor targeted because of their gender, their religious beliefs, nor their ethnicity," said Pressley. " That is not who we are as a country and we should reevaluate our relationships with any country who seeks to ban Americans and threatens the safety of anyone, including government officials."

To some observers, however, barring two Muslim American members of Congress from entering the country was just the next step in Israel's march toward an undemocratic future. 

"Banning U.S. Congress members is yet another new low as this country abandons all but the pretenses of democracy," tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald, noting the decision was made in part due to the urging of President Donald Trump.

The decision exposed the true face of the occupation, tweeted Ayman Odeh, a prominent Israeli-Arab politician.

"Israel has always banned Palestinians from their land and separated us from other Palestinians, but this time the Palestinian is a U.S. congresswomen," said Odeh. "Rashida Tlaib didn't even have to land to expose the true face of Israel's occupation."

Tlaib and Omar planned to visit Palestine Saturday as part of a delegation to the occupied region organized by Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, as an alternative to the AIPAC-funded tour of Israel led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) that wrapped earlier this month. Hoyer, according to Washington Post reporter John Hudson, "has been running point for the Democrats in urging the Israelis to reconsider the decision to block Omar and Tlaib."

The reason for Hoyer's activism, said Hudson, is simple: barring Tlaib and Omar, the latter a Democrat from Minnesota, sends a message that's antithetical to the popular perception of Israel amongst Democratic leaders.

"Some in the Democratic leadership believe blocking Omar and Tlaib is a bad idea," Hudson tweeted before Thursday's decision was made public, "because such moves are not emblematic of a country that touts itself as the Middle East's sole democracy, a place tolerant of political expression and criticism."

More than anything, Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein said on Twitter, the decision shows that Israel views the two politicians as the sum of their identities before respecting their office. 

"It only makes sense that ⁦Rashida Tlaib⁩ and ⁦Ilhan Omar⁩ are subject to Israeli occupation treatment," said Zonszein. "When they visit, they are not U.S. congresswomen first and foremost, but Muslims, and with a political position."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Outrageous and Shameful': Dems May Cut Paid Leave Due to Manchin's Opposition

Decrying the plan, advocacy groups vowed that "the American people are not going to allow that essential human need to be ignored and negotiated away behind closed doors."

Jessica Corbett ·

Open Letter Warns Trump's 'Big Lie' GOP Poses Existential Threat to Democracy

"Now is the time for leaders in all walks of life—for citizens of all political backgrounds and persuasions—to come to the aid of the republic."

Brett Wilkins ·

Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·

House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo