Ban of Tlaib, Omar, resembles South Africa’s bans during apartheid

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U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN). (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIN SCOTT)

 Israel’s decision to ban US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country has been compared to South Africa’s bans of African-American representatives.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not allow US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib into the country. 
The congresswomen, who have previously referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime,” comparing it to the system of racial segregation in South Africa, have been banned due to their support of the BDS movement.
The decision to ban Tlaib and Omar was met with a wave of criticism, with users on social media have comparing the ban to the actions of the South African government during the apartheid:
On January 17th, 1975, the New York Times reported that Charles C. Diggs Jr., an African-American representative from Michigan, was banned from entering South Africa for “intervening with the state’s internal affairs.”
Diggs, who sought to visit Namibia – a trust territory of South Africa at the time – was banned due to previous visits to South Africa, on which “there were direct incursions into South Africa’s internal affairs” that “exceeded the bounds of propriety,” the South African embassy said.
According to the users, the ban of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar can be compared to the ban of Diggs, as the congresswomen sought to visit the West Bank, most of which is under Israeli military control.
Previously, Foreign Minister Israel Katz defended the decision to ban the congresswomen, saying that “the planned visit they have prepared is entirely aimed at provocation and incitement against the State of Israel, and not to study the State of Israel’s activities.”
Lawmakers have expressed concern over the effect the ban of rep. Tlaib and Omar might have on the bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.

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