If Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not want to allow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to visit, “maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars” that the U.S. gives to Israel, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Thursday night.
In an MSNBC appearance, the independent senator from Vermont was asked for his reaction to Israel’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar from visiting – based on their vocal support for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and an itinerary which Netanyahu said showed that the “sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”
MSNBC host Ali Velshi also asked Sanders his view on what Velshi described as “President Trump asking the president [sic] of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to do this, and Netanyahu obliging.”
Sanders said he was not surprised that Trump encouraged Israel not to allow Tlaib and Omar to visit, and repeated his now customary labeling of the president as a “racist,” a “xenophobe,” and a “religious bigot.”
“But the idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation which, by the way, we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars, is an outrage,” he continued.