Trump reportedly tells advisers Reps. Tlaib, Omar should be banned from Israel


U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar should not be allowed to visit Israel due to their support for boycotting the Jewish state, President Donald Trump told his advisers.

Citing three sources, Axios reports that Trump’s private statements “have reached the top level of the Israeli government.” But as is often the case, the White House issued a blanket denial.

“The Israeli government can do what they want,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Saturday. “It’s fake news.”

In 2017, Israel enacted a law that bars the entry of foreign nationals who support boycotting the country.

Trump’s response follows a U.S. House resolution on July 23 to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The House voted 398-17 in favor of the measure, which condemned the boycott-Israel movement as one that “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation, which are destructive of prospects for progress towards peace.”

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American from Detroit, and Omar, a naturalized citizen from Somalia, voted against the measure. They are the first two Muslim women in Congress.

Before the vote, Tlaib labeled Israel’s policies toward Palestinians as “racist.”

“I stand before you as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, parents who experienced being stripped of their human rights, the right to freedom of travel, equal treatment,” Tlaib said. “So I can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government and the state of Israel.”

Last month, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, D.C., Ron Dermer, said the two lawmakers would be allowed in the country.

"Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer said.

But Trump reportedly disagreed with Dermer’s rationale, telling advisers that “Israel should boycott them” if they want to boycott Israel.

Trump’s attacks on Tlaib and Omar are just the latest in a series of racist rants in which he said they should “go back” to where they came from, even though Tlaib was born in America and Omar is a naturalized citizen.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.