Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama, responded to the recent news that Israel had barred entry into their country by Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
Byrne told the Alabama Political Reporter that he absolutely respects Israel’s decision about barring Omar and Tlaib from entering their country.
“America has no better friend than Israel,” Byrne said. As a nation and as a people, we should always stand up against anti-Semitism, and I respect Israel’s decision. I will always fight to protect our nation’s special bond with Israel, no matter what the ‘Socialist Squad’ says or does. But now we have seen that this was all a political stunt to begin with. “The Squad” didn’t actually care anything about visiting Israel. They just wanted to score political points to please the radical left. It’s just sad.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Tlaib and Omar were not interested in meeting with the Israeli government but were instead meeting with Palestinian radicals who support an international boycott of the country.
Tlaib is the child of Palestinian immigrants and has family in Israel, including a Palestinian grandmother who lives in the West Bank that she has never seen. A tearful Tlaib complained that Israel was preventing her from seeing her grandmother.
Tlaib’s congressional district is in Michigan.
For humanitarian reasons, the Israeli government reversed their position on Friday and said that Tlaib would be allowed to visit her grandmother and other family members if she does not speak in favor of the boycott of Israel while she is there in the country.
Tlaib rejected that offer saying that Israel’s conditions were “oppressive”
“Silencing me and treating me like a criminal is not what [my grandmother] wants for me,” Tlaib wrote to her many fans on Twitter. “It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression and injustice.”
Her refusal to accept the Israeli terms, has led to many accusing Tlaib of only doing this for political purposes and to draw attention to the Israel boycott movement. The pair could have traveled to Israel with other members of Congress last week on the AIPAC sponsored trip. The pair have criticized other members of Congress for going on the AIPAC sponsored trips to Israel.
Omar is an immigrant from Somalia, turned naturalized American citizen. Her congressional district is in Minnesota.
Omar and Tlaib, both were first elected in 2018, are the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.
Congressman Bradley Byrne is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones.
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, State Representative Arnold Mooney, businessman Stanley Adair, Secretary of State John H. Merrill, and former Chief Justice Roy Moore are also running for the Republican nomination in the March 3 primary.