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Israel was wise to deny entry Thursday to Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. These freshmen Democratic congresswomen have built their brands on delegitimizing the Jewish state and working towards its destruction and would have used a visit to Israel to give themselves an international platform to spew their hate.

These are not good-faith actors, earnestly seeking to visit the Holy Land and learn about its people, history and culture. If their intention was to truly see the facts on the ground for what they are, they could have easily joined 72 of their fellow House members who visited Israel last week as part of a congressional delegation.

Omar and Tlaib were invited to be part of that delegation by the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus. But the pair ruled this out, instead choosing to plan their own trip to advance their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic political agenda.

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Omar and Tlaib’s proposed itinerary read like a laundry list of provocative actions designed to intentionally stoke ethnic and religious tensions. Their rumored demand to pray alongside leaders from the Palestinian Authority at the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site and also the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam – could have incited a riot and kicked off a round of deadly violence.

Lest we forget, the Second Intifada began with calls for violence following former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in 2000. More than 4,000 people were killed in the ensuing weeks after Palestinian leaders unleashed a deadly wave of suicide attacks.

The two congresswomen have First Amendment rights – as do all American citizens – to express their beliefs. But Israel, as a sovereign nation, also has every right to decide who can and cannot enter its borders and for what purpose.

The irony is that if I, as a member of the Jewish faith, attempted to pray on the Temple Mount, I would be arrested on the spot by the Israelis, who seek to defuse tensions at the site.

Omar and Tlaib also reportedly intended to visit the security fence separating southern Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza, where terrorists recently launched explosive incendiary balloons towards Jewish communities. The security fence is among the most dangerous hotspots in the region. A visit by well-known foreign politicians would have required significant security resources.

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One item that wasn’t on the agenda for Omar and Tlaib was official government business. They planned no meetings with Israeli or Palestinian officials during the trip.

Sadly, this is par for the course for Omar and Tlaib. Although they have only been members of Congress since January, both have already been embroiled in scandals over racist statements and actions.

Omar has said the U.S.-Israel relationships is “all about the Benjamins.” And she has implied that Jewish Americans “pledge allegiance to a foreign country.”

These statements employ classic anti-Semitic tropes, implying that “Jewish money” buys support for Israel from U.S. elected officials and that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States.

Similarly, Tlaib has said Jewish members of Congress “forgot what country they represent.” She even wrote a column for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s blog. Farrakhan is a notorious anti-Semitic bigot, who compares Jews to termites and has long been persona non grata for all but the most extreme fringe of the far-left.

Both Omar and Tlaib are enthusiastic supporters of an anti-Semitic global campaign to boycott Jewish businesses, institutions and individuals in Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign promotes economic warfare as a means to bring about the eventual destruction of the Jewish state.

Under Israeli law, supporters of BDS are, very sensibly, not allowed into the country. It’s ironic they would want to visit in the first place, considering the boycott.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday that the planned trip to Israel by Omar and Tlaib was “nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine that Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar so vigorously support.”

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And President Trump, who called for Israel to keep Omar and Tlaib out, tweeted in support of the Israeli decision to deny the pair entry, writing: “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”

The two congresswomen have First Amendment rights – as do all American citizens – to express their beliefs. But Israel, as a sovereign nation, also has every right to decide who can and cannot enter its borders and for what purpose.

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No country on Earth would allow its sworn enemies to use its territory as a base from which to continue an insidious campaign of delegitimization.

Thankfully, Israel is prioritizing the safety and security of its own citizens ahead of the political agenda of two hateful members of Congress.

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