Rep. Ilhan Omar compared the Israeli government’s banning her from entering the country to South Africa’s denying a congressional member entry for being black during the apartheid.
“We can’t let this point get lost, South Africa’s government back then denied black members of Congress in the same way Israel is denying Muslim members of Congress,” the Minnesota Democrat said Friday on Twitter. “If the agenda or host was the problem, why didn’t they also deny the other member who was traveling with us?”
Omar also used Twitter to quote a former member of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s staff who said: “In 1975, South Africa’s apartheid government denied a black member of Congress an entry visa, accusing him of ‘intervention in South Africa’s internal affairs.'”
Omar, 37, was denied entry to Israel Thursday along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the duo’s itinerary, which listed Palestine as their destination rather than Israel, showed they were going with intent to harm Israel.
The congresswomen were originally banned from the country over their support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. The government gave them a waiver to an Israeli law that bans foreign nationals who support the movement from coming to the country before reversing the decision.
Omar has been a longtime critic of Israel, including controversial comments she has apologized for after accusations of anti-Semitism.