Israel denies entry to Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar

Rabbi Avi Olitzky and journalist Gil Hoffman explain why Israel's denial of entry of the congresswomen is troubling as the representatives "should be welcomed into the country."
8:41 | 08/15/19

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Transcript for Israel denies entry to Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar
We do begin with the growing story what is happening between president trump members of the squad it. And Benjamin Netanyahu so to members of the squad ill on Omar and her she did to lead. Wanted to go on a code L over to Israel something every member of congress at some point has done. However presidents from putting pressure on the scenario. And getting his allies in Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had jumped in and sit. Guess what you can't come now. Let's dive into this this is a crazy story is still developing we have heard just about from every. 20/20 candidate on this topic we're joined right now by our entire team Jordan Phelps over the White House monitoring for us we also were joined by Gil Hoffman he's a chief political correspondent. At the Jerusalem Post and rabbi I'll be a Lipsky he is a senior rabbi at Beth el synagogue in saint Louis park Minnesota. And he of course a surge in the area where congressman bill on oh Har. Represents. Great to have all three of you join us but let me start first with you Gil because they statement from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Is something we've really never seen before let's put it up on screen for our viewers to follow along with me it reads in part congressmen to leave and Omar. Our leading activists in promoting boycott legislation against Israel in the US congress only a few days ago we received their visitation plan and it became clear that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel's legitimacy. For example they define their visit destination is Palestine rather than Israel this even goes ons to say that is why the Interior Minister decided to not allow their visit. And I S prime minister. Back that decision Gil. I owed something we've never seen yet at all I mean I can't imagine you've seen something like that in Israel. Absolutely not I'm here to explain. The decision of the government as a journalist nuts endorse it and anyway. Now there has never been an American official blocked from entering Israel America has done that two Israeli officials the four. And what happened was asks the net as Netanyahu wrote in his statement when they received the itinerary they saw. That the congresswomen Oracle's be meeting with any Israeli officials. In any capacity even those who oppose the Israeli government. And this was not a trip to Israel the way the seven the Democrats and Republicans came over the last two weeks this was a trip to Palestine. This is a trip that from the point of view the government. Violated a law that was passed in Israel. That bans those were actively trying to harm the Jewish state from coming and and there are such laws in western nations all over the world. OK let's bring rabbi the rabbi into this conversation because rabbi let's hugest put up an op Ed. I'm about this very choppy you've been very vocal in the past from president trump. Has mince words with congressman Omar your up bed reads in part those who look to the Hebrew Bible for inspiration guidance and meaning in their life. Macy surprised to learn the most repeated command in the Tora is to welcome the stranger that is clearly what has not happened here. Correct correct. And I are sacred Olympic Jill we go way back in you've been stolen residents here are so. Sure there. You eat out. I would say albeit this year but it members of congress are unique. They should always be given the opportunity to experienced. The vibrant democracy is Israel and even if the itinerary was spinning it's it's Palestinian territories. They don't make the way through Israel to get there interfacing interest. Issues with Israelis and that's an important the government. And let's take a listen to what congressman Omar say we have her statement as well she wrote in part it's an affront to the Israeli prime minister Netanyahu under pressure. From president trump would deny entry to representatives of the US government trumps Muslim man is what Israel is implementing this time against you duly elected members of congress let's bring Jordan Phelps into the conversation. At the White House obviously Jordan you and I both now a very close relationship between president trump and prime minister Netanyahu do we know. What if any conversations the White House was having pleased with the Israeli government on this. Well John the White House insists that president trump wasn't influencing prime minister Netanyahu on this decision. But of course even if that's true that the president wiping exerting any influence behind the scenes he certainly was making his opinion clear on Twitter. Just this morning he was saying that it would show great meet next. For Israel to allow then in. High and as you know John these two men are. The closest of close this is one of the president's closest friends on the global stage prime minister Netanyahu ill and so they took them both are bounced together politically wing out. Netanyahu has an auction of a sound coming up not too long from now. Hot and it's you play off of that relationship CU finished at one another at and the president obviously offered Benjamin Netanyahu Gil that. Clearest endorsement before his recent election and and Sally you know that few are staying close together in just another example. SS and he'll let me go back to you on that it is Jordan mentions right there obviously the prime minister had a very tough reelection just recently. This support and the relationship between him and president trump. How does that play over in Israel at the moment. It that is the issue from its nose or you in this election. Though the his par party headquarters. Has A a massive twenty story poster of a picture of Netanyahu trump together with the headline and then Netanyahu and another league. And so when the president United States' rights and social media that Netanyahu will be reach. If he would. Permit these two congresswomen to comment he he really had no choice Netanyahu campaign slow the last election. Was a strong salary he can't afford to be weak with an election. I'm of the way. He had definitely had sound that they're completely it in line the other question I had for you Gil this are going that's what you settle earlier you mentioned. The trip by seventy members of congress just couple weeks go Republicans and Democrats. That they had met with officials. But that's not something that has to happen on these trips that doesn't mean remember congress has to go to a country and has to have. Official meetings with members of the government necessarily. About to go to country and it only meet with the people who want to harm the country. That is something that congresswoman don't do that is unprecedented. So you can say they would Israel was doing here is unprecedented and it's say. What these congressmen and we're doing it was unprecedented as well and I don't think that a lot of countries in the world would like what they try to. While we're definitely be watching that rabbi let me go to you before we have to move on in OT EU you've come on this program many many times I know you have. Com and spoken about the congresswoman you're close relationship. With her. I'm curious though due to know that she was going to be making the strap. I didn't know or not we actually era of limits. Are C should last week. With her office and with the congress and talking about the trip Julius gauging. Suggestions of what should be on the archery which we should be able to eat where to make the connection I don't know we haven't seen the final itinerary. We are hopeful from the dialogue and discussion. I'm when it would also act and viewed I am Gill's comments. You know TV. We kind of anti east's BES movement. That's very troubling disturbing and something we should speak out against support for once the solution instead of two states. That it path not towards peace that's outdoors really acting calamity. But both of those issues aside we're still caught in two members of congress that's been welcomed the country. And this is this is different conversations private citizens either elected or even that we disagree with their decisions they still implicitly represented. Plenty of friends Israel and certain conversation. And one that we're certainly watching play our right now from all the twenty when he candidates as I mentioned rabbi thank you so much for coming on we appreciate any Gil Hoffman with a Jerusalem Post. Thank you both as well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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