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Top Foreign Affairs Republican: 'It would benefit all of us' for Omar, Tlaib to visit Israel

The Hill logo The Hill 8/15/2019 Chris Mills Rodrigo
Michael McCaul wearing a suit and tie: Top Foreign Affairs Republican: 'It would benefit all of us' for Omar, Tlaib to visit Israel © Greg Nash Top Foreign Affairs Republican: 'It would benefit all of us' for Omar, Tlaib to visit Israel

House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Thursday reportedly criticized Israel's decision to block Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from visiting the country.

"Israel is a U.S. ally and a thriving bastion of democracy and hope for freedom-loving people of the world. It would benefit all of us for Reps. Tlaib and Omar to see that firsthand," McCaul said, per Reuters's Patricia Zengerle.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced that Tlaib and Omar would not be able to enter the country for a planned visit this weekend because of their previous comments critical of Israel.

The decision to block the first two Muslim women elected to Congress was announced moments after President Trump tweeted that it would show "great weakness" for Israel to allow the pair into the country, calling them a "disgrace."

Tlaib and Omar have been vocal advocates of Palestinian rights and have backed the movement to boycott Israel.

The decision to block their trip has been met with universal condemnation by Democrats, as well as a handful of Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Susan Collins (Maine).

Other Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rick Scott (Fla.), have defended the decision, arguing that Tlaib and Omar have made irredeemable comments about both Israel and Jewish people more broadly.

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