Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill’s Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-‘squad’ controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Pelosi: Israel’s Omar-Tlaib decision ‘a sign of weakness’ MORE (D-Calif.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action ‘Mulan’ star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don’t let other countries unfairly tax America’s most innovative companies MORE and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE for “weakness” after a move to block two U.S. congresswomen from visiting Israel stoked tensions between the Israeli government and congressional Democrats.
Pelosi emphasized during an interview with The Associated Press published late Friday that U.S.-Israeli relations can “withstand” Trump and Netanyahu, but argued that the “weakness of Netanyahu and the weakness of Donald Trump combined” into a policy that is “a no.”
“We have a deep relationship and long-standing relationship with Israel that can withstand Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu,” Pelosi told the outlet. “We cannot let their weaknesses stand in the way of our ongoing relationship.”
The Democratic leader also told the AP that the United States’ commitment to Israel did not depend on either Trump or Netanyahu, the outlet reported.
Pelosi said she had “great, great, great sadness” over Israel’s decision this week to block Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says she won’t visit Israel after being treated like ‘a criminal’ The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-‘squad’ controversy Israel approves Tlaib request to visit grandmother in West Bank MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says she won’t visit Israel after being treated like ‘a criminal’ The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-‘squad’ controversy Israel approves Tlaib request to visit grandmother in West Bank MORE (D-Mich.) from visiting the country, a move that sparked outcry from many lawmakers who called the decision a mistake.
“Members will make their own decisions about this, but I would not discourage travel to Israel,” Pelosi said.
“We have a strong relationship with Israel as well as a deep love and respect for the people of Israel. And, again, this is not going to undermine that, try as President Trump will to do that.”
Trump has feuded with the two congresswoman denied entry to Israel for a trip that was scheduled to begin this weekend, blasting past comments they have made as anti-Semitic and claiming that they “hate” Israel.
Israeli officials said this week that Omar and Tlaib would not be allowed to enter the country due to their support for the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel, citing a law that prohibits entry for those who back the effort.
The move sparked backlash among various Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates as well as some GOP lawmakers, who argued that members of Congress should be allowed to conduct diplomatic trips to the country.
Meanwhile, some Republicans suggested that the two congresswomen should have joined a larger bipartisan congressional delegation that visited Israel earlier in the month instead of making plans for their own visit.
Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, also planned to see her grandmother in the West Bank but on Friday signaled that she would not take up the Israeli government’s offer to complete that part of the trip on humanitarian grounds, saying she wouldn’t make a visit after being treated like “a criminal.”
Trump, who earlier this week had encouraged the Israeli government to deny entry to Omar and Tlaib, accused Tlaib of grandstanding and questioned whether there was a “setup” after Israel said she could enter the West Bank to visit her family.
Trump complained in a tweet that the Michigan Democrat “obnoxiously” turned down the Israeli exemption to let her into the country.
“The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!” Trump tweeted.
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