Trump targets anti-Semitism, boycotts against Israel on college campuses

closeTrump says US-Israel relationship is stronger now than ever beforeVideo

Trump says US-Israel relationship is stronger now than ever before

President Trump speaks to crowd of over 4,000 people at the Israeli American Council National Summit. Talia Kaplan reports from Hollywood, Florida.

President Trump is threatening to cut federal funds to college campuses that don't curb anti-Semitism against Jewish students, with an executive order set to be signed later Wednesday, according to a senior administration official.

Trump's new order will hit the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement head-on and will invoke Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fight anti-Semitic rhetoric on college campuses, labeling Judaism as a nationality as well as a religion, and calling on federally funded agencies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism in cases of discrimination.

TRUMP TO 4,000 ISRAELI AMERICANS IN FLORIDA: US-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP IS 'STRONGER NOW THAN EVER BEFORE'

“My administration is committed to aggressively challenging and confronting anti-Semitic bigotry in every resource and using every single weapon at our disposal,” Trump told a crowd of over 4,000 people at the Israeli American Council National summit over the weekend.

"We began to focus on this issue in the late winter/spring of this year when we were alarmed frankly at a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric, including unfortunately from leading political figures," a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post. "We looked at the data, and we saw that there'd been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents, and we began a policy process to figure out physically what we could do on the subject."

JERSEY CITY SHOOTER PUBLISHED ANTI-SEMITIC POSTS ONLINE, REPORT CLAIMS

Trump: The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakableVideo

David Krone, who was chief of staff to former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised Trump for the move: "I know people are going to criticize me for saying this, but I have to give credit where credit is due."

The Trump administration has received praise from both sides of the aisle but also has critics saying the new executive order violates free speech rights.

HALEY SUGGESTS CANADA MADE 'DEAL WITH THE DEVIL' BY BACKING ANTI-ISRAEL UN RESOLUTION

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a left-leaning group, blasted the measure as having "a chilling effect on free speech" and a "crackdown on campus critics of Israel."

A pro-Palestinian organization accused Trump of trying to "silence Palestinian-rights activism" by equating opposition to Israeli treatment of Palestinians with anti-Semitism.

“Israeli apartheid is a very hard product to sell in America, especially in progressive spaces,” Munayyer said in a statement published by The New York Times. “And realizing this, many Israeli apartheid apologists, Trump included, are looking to silence a debate they know they can’t win.”

UN RELEASES FIRST-EVER REPORT ON ANTI-SEMITISM HIGHLIGHTING UPTICK

Jewish Coalition national chairman Norm Coleman, a former Republican senator from Minnesota, said the executive order will have a real and positive impact in protecting Jewish college students from anti-Semitism.

"Sadly, every day, Jewish students on college campuses face outrageous attacks on their Jewish identity and beliefs," he said. "The rapid increase in such incidents in recent years is of great concern."

Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in the nation, thanked Trump and Jared Kushner for doing what Congress could not as they failed to pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.

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"It is astonishing to me that Congress dithered with meaningless resolutions while violent anti-Semitic incidents were surging across the country, but it is precisely because of such Congressional paralysis that President Trump’s executive order is the right and necessary path to adopting the IHRA’s definition," CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker said in a statement.

In July, Congress passed a bipartisan condemnation of BDS as a movement that "promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation, which are destructive of prospects for progress towards peace."

Original Article

Trump to 4,000 Israeli Americans in Florida: US-Israel relationship is ‘stronger now than ever before’

closeTrump: The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakableVideo

Trump: The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable

President Trump speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit.

President Trump addressed a crowd of more than 4,000 people at the Israeli American Council (IAC) National Summit in Florida on Saturday night, saying Israel and America have an "unbreakable bond."

Trump delivered the keynote address at the summit, which took place in Hollywood, Fla., and was welcomed by the crowd chanting "four more years." The Israeli American Council is financially backed by one of Trump's top supporters, billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

In the first address by a sitting U.S. president at the IAC Summit, Trump said America and Israel's relationship is "stronger now than ever before."

"I have stood firmly and proudly with the state of Israel," Trump said. He said he kept his promises and that Israel "never had a greater friend in the White House than your president Donald Trump."

HALEY SUGGESTS CANADA MADE 'DEAL WITH THE DEVIL' BY BACKING ANTI-ISRAEL UN RESOLUTION

The president spoke about the latest move by his administration to strengthen Israel's position and undermine Palestinian claims regarding land sought for a future state. Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. government is easing its stance on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Pompeo essentially rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion holding that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

He also said the White House was reversing an Obama administration directive that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

While the announcement received praise from Israeli officials — including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it “historic” — the international community, which overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal, did not take the news favorably.

In a statement sent to Fox News, Federica Mogherini, vice president of the European Union, said: “The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

ISRAEL SHOOTS DOWN ROCKET FIRED FROM GAZA IN SECOND ATTACK IN ONE WEEK, RATTLING SHAKY CEASE-FIRE

Trump already broke with his predecessors by deciding to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy to that city and supporting Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region. In Hollywood on Saturday, Trump mentioned all those decisions.

He said recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a "great, great thing."

Trump talked about Israeli security and said, "My administration made clear Israel's absolute right to self-defense," as he referenced the latest round of fighting between Gaza and Israel.

Last month, two days of violence left at least 32 Palestinians dead. During the fighting, the Israel Defense Forces said it was “raining rockets” across the country, with Islamic Jihads firing one projectile every seven minutes. Since then, a senior commander of the terror group was killed by the Israeli military in a targeted airstrike.

Trump also told the crowd of Israeli Americans, “Today the ISIS caliphate has been 100 percent obliterated."

He noted that a few weeks ago, U.S. special forces killed the founder and leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Trump held a rally in Sunrise, Fla., last week where he also mentioned his unprecedented moves in strengthening U.S.- Israeli relations, which included supporting Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region.

It’s a message the president seems to be pushing in his reelection campaign.

UN RELEASES FIRST-EVER REPORT ON ANTI-SEMITISM HIGHLIGHTING UPTICK

As Trump addressed the crowd at the IAC Summit on Saturday night, Trump also spoke about anti-Semitism and said his administration is committed to curbing the problem.

He said "we must not ignore the vile poison" and said his administration is "using every single weapon at our disposal."

He brought up former New York University (NYU) student Adela Cojab to the stage. She said she experienced anti-Semitism on her college campus, including witnessing a student who was a member of a pro-Palestinian group on campus, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), burn an Israeli flag.

Her lawyers filed charges of anti-Semitism and a hostile environment for Jewish students at New York University, and they were notified last month that the Department of Education had opened a full-scale investigation into their allegations.

The complaint sent to the Department of Education said: “SJP is a radical organization affiliated with terror groups, bent on adopting a policy of anti-normalization of Jewish groups, and on isolating, demonizing and ultimately destroying the Jewish state.”

Cojab, who was the president of an Israel advocacy group at NYU and was a representative for Jewish students in student government, graduated in May and filed the complaint one month before.

EDUCATION DEPT. PROBING ALLEGED ANTI-SEMITISM AT NYU

NYU spokesman John Beckman told Fox News Saturday that the university "has not received any direct notice from the Department of Education indicating that there is an OCR investigation."

"If there is, we know that any allegations that the University has been anything less than highly supportive of or deeply concerned about its Jewish community are untrue and unfair, and ignore the real record," Beckman said, continuing: "That those involved in disrupting the pro-Israel rave in Washington Square Park in 2018 were referred to the University's student conduct office; that NYU and its president rejected and criticized attempts to ostracize pro-Israel groups; that the University has publicly, repeatedly, and vigorously repudiated BDS proposals both at NYU and elsewhere … and … that NYU is the only U.S. [university] to have opened its own dedicated academic campus in Israel, has flatly rejected any and all calls to close it, and continues to be committed to it."

National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, in a statement sent to Fox News, NYU’s SJP chapter said: “NYU Students for Justice in Palestine and NYU Jewish Voice for Peace believe Palestinian liberation and Jewish liberation go hand in hand. We work tirelessly against anti-racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. The fact that around half of SJP is Jewish, along with our interfaith work where an Israeli Jewish woman and a Palestinian Muslim woman crafted a BDS resolution on human rights, is evidence of just that.”

On Saturday night, Cojab thanked President Trump for his work on anti-Semitism.

Trump also brought up U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr to the stage.

Trump spoke at the 6th annual IAC Summit. Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker at the conference the year before.

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President Trump's trip to Florida on Saturday also featured a separate address to members of Florida's Republican Party at the Statesman's Dinner in Aventura. The Florida GOP did not allow news media coverage of the event.

The trip came hours after Trump celebrated Iran's decision to free a Chinese-American scholar from Princeton University who had been held since 2016. The U.S., in turn, released an Iranian scientist in its custody.

"We are also working to free hostages unjustly detained around the world including in Iran," Trump told the crowd on Saturday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Haley suggests Canada made ‘deal with the devil’ by backing anti-Israel UN resolution

closeNikki Haley discusses future political aspirations, urges 'Anonymous' author to come forwardVideo

Nikki Haley discusses future political aspirations, urges 'Anonymous' author to come forward

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, author of the new book 'With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,' joins Dana Briefing on 'The Daily Briefing.'

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley suggested this week that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had made a “deal with the devil” in a recent decision to back an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N.

“I speak from experience when I say the United Nations presents many such opportunities to strike a deal with the devil,” she said at a U.N. Watch gala in New York on Thursday.

VENEZUELA WINS SEAT ON UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL; US BRANDS IT AN EMBARRASSMENT

She was telling the audience about how it is often “easier not to rock the boat” instead of standing up to “the mob” and cited the Canadian vote as an example of “this cultural corruption playing out in real time.”

“Canada has been, for a long time, balanced and fair-minded towards Israel at the United Nations. It has opposed the pull of the anti-Israel culture,” she said.

But that changed last month when the Trudeau government chose to vote for a resolution called “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” — sponsored by North Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and the “State of Palestine.” That resolution calls for an end “to the Israeli occupation” and refers to the U.S. ally as “the occupying Power.”

Haley noted that Canada had voted against the resolution for years, and said the resolution “challenges the legitimacy of Israel.” She said the move had "surprised Israel's friends."

AMERICA 'ISOLATED' AT UN? GENERAL ASSEMBLY BREAKS WITH US ON MOST VOTES, REPORT FINDS

The former South Carolina governor suggested the Canadian stance had shifted now it was seeking one of the rotating two-year seats on the Security Council — a pick that requires a vote in the bloc’s notoriously anti-Israel General Assembly.

“One observer said Canada is making a ‘Faustian bargain,’ trading its integrity for a seat on the Security Council,” she said.

It’s the latest sign of tension between the Trump administration, from which Haley departed at the end of 2018, and the Trudeau government.

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President Trump called Trudeau “two-faced” earlier this week after video surfaced of the Canadian premier appearing to laugh at Trump’s expense at a NATO summit in London.

That came a day after Trump had grilled Trudeau in person about whether his country was meeting its commitment to spend two percent of GDP on defense spending — something Trudeau admitted his country was still falling short on meeting.

Original Article

US Embassy in Israel issues travel warning to Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza after settlement shift

closeSecretary of State Pompeo announces US is softening position on Israeli settlements in occupied West BankVideo

Secretary of State Pompeo announces US is softening position on Israeli settlements in occupied West Bank

The move will likely anger Palestinians and put the U.S. at odds with other nations working to end the conflict; reaction from Amy Jaffe, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The United States Embassy in Israel has issued a travel warning to Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, cautioning about Palestinian unrest following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Monday that the U.S. government will ease its stance on Israeli settlements.

“The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens in or considering travel to or through Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness in light of the current environment,” The embassy said in a security alert on Monday.

“Individuals and groups opposed to the secretary of state’s recent announcement may target U.S. government facilities, U.S. private interests and U.S. citizens. Potential targets include public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings; hotels, clubs, and restaurants popular with U.S. citizens; places of worship; schools; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation and airports.”

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 13.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 13. (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images)

In the security alert issued Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Israel said American citizens in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem to avoid “non-essential movements and events that attract attention.”

The Embassy also advised people to avoid all demonstrations and plan routes to avoid checkpoints on roads and into and out of the West Bank or other areas.

Monday’s announcement was the latest move by the Trump administration to bolster Israel's position and undermine Palestinian claims regarding land sought for a future state.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EASES US STANCE TOWARD ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN WEST BANK

Pompeo essentially rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion holding that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” He also said the White House was reversing an Obama administration directive that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rolled out a new stance on settlements.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rolled out a new stance on settlements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump already broke with his predecessors by deciding earlier to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy to that city and closing the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

While the new announcement is receiving praise from Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who called it “historic,” the international community, which overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal, is not taking the news favorably.

In a statement sent to Fox News Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said, “The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

The statement went on to say, “The EU will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties.”

COEXISTENCE IN A 'DANGER' ZONE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory.

Today, some 700,000 Israelis live in the two areas, which are both claimed by the Palestinians for their state. After the war, it immediately annexed east Jerusalem, home to the holy city’s most important religious sites, in a move that is not internationally recognized.

But Israel has never annexed the West Bank, even as it has dotted the territory with scores of settlements and tiny settlement outposts. While claiming the fate of the settlements is a subject for negotiations, it has steadily expanded them.

Some major settlements have over 30,000 residents, resembling small cities and serving as suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

GAZA MILITANTS FIRE ROCKETS INTO ISRAEL HOURS AFTER CEASE-FIRE DECLARED

The Palestinians and supporters say the settlements undermine hopes for a two-state solution by gobbling up land sought by the Palestinians.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, condemned Pompeo’s announcement.

“The U.S. administration has lost its credibility to play any future role in the peace process,” he said.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties in the Knesset [Israeli Parliament], tweeted, “No foreign minister will change the fact that the settlements were built on occupied land on which an independent Palestinian state will be established alongside Israel.”

Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ayman Safadi, tweeted on Monday, “Settlements in occupied #Palestine are a blatant violation of Int’l [International] law & UNSCRs [United Nations Security Council resolution]. They are an illegal action that’ll kill 2-state solution. Jordan’s position in condemning them is unwavering. We warn against dangerous consequences of US change of position on settlements on MEPP [Middle East Peace Process].”

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Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Original Article

Biden’s opposition to moving Israel embassy in direct conflict with past statements

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 7Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 7

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 7 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Despite supporting the idea of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for over three decades, former vice president and 2020 hopeful Joe Biden abandoned his previous stance on the issue and said he wouldn't have made the move "in the first place."

In an interview with PBS News Hour on Friday, Biden said that although he would not reverse President Trump's decision to move the embassy at this point, he said: "I wouldn't have done it in the first place."

A person close to Biden's campaign told Fox News on Thursday that Biden's comments are "not out of synch with the position that he's had" but rather are a criticism of the way Trump handled the decision, which drew the ire of Palestinians who also stake claim to the land.

BIDEN DROPS TO FOURTH AMONG IOWA DEMOCRATS, NEW POLL SHOWS

"His objection was not to the move but to the way it was done. It should have been made in the context of a larger deal that achieved important concessions for the peace process," the source told Fox News.

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during an interview on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Florence, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during an interview on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Florence, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden said in a statement to Axios that "Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv, but he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians."

In 2018, Trump made good on a main campaign promise to appease his conservative and evangelical base by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy to the city.

Biden backed numerous pieces of legislation passed by the Senate during his tenure as a representative from Deleware that supported both moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel– a law that was waived by Trump's predecessors.

“Joe Biden spent literally decades promising to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, only to fail when he had eight years as vice president to do it. President Trump made a similar promise, but unlike Joe Biden, he actually stuck to his word and got it done,” Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement to Fox News on Thursday.

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump hold up the signed proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump hold up the signed proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

During former President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, Biden said "it's been my position for years," to have Jerusalem recognized as the undivided capital city of Israel.

"Jerusalem must be the capital of Israel. Whatever decision the Israelis make, that's a decision we'll support,” Biden said at the time.

“I think we should move the embassy, but you don't have a [Israeli] government asking us to move the embassy there. Let them make the judgment,” he added.

Biden's flip flop on the issue marks yet another attempt by the candidate to align himself with left-leaning voters by reversing his previously held stances, which has drawn the ire of other Democratic contenders vying for the nomination.

Biden, who has remained in the lead according to most national polls but is neck and neck with two other candidates– Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.– came under fire for changing his decades-long position on the Hyde Amendment in June.

President Donald Trump waves after speaking to reporters upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump waves after speaking to reporters upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

His 2020 Democratic rivals criticized Biden's previous support as a senator for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to subsidize abortions except for cases of rape, incest or when a woman's life is endangered — a notion some of his campaign rivals fear has a disproportionate impact on minority communities.

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Biden reversed his stance on the controversial piece of legislation at a campaign rally, saying he "can no longer support an amendment that makes" a woman's right to an abortion "dependent on someone's ZIP code."

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article

Defiant Trump digs in amid battles on trade, guns, Israel: ‘I am the chosen one’

close Trump calls out Denmark's 'nasty' and 'inappropriate' response to Greenland purchase Video

Trump calls out Denmark's 'nasty' and 'inappropriate' response to Greenland purchase

President Trump remarks on postponing his meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen after her response to his interest in buying Greenland.

A defiant President Trump sparred with reporters Wednesday in a testy back-and-forth for more than a half-hour as he dug in over his positions on the trade war with China, gun control, the apparent pursuit of a Greenland real estate deal, the treatment of migrants at the border and his comments on Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

“I am the chosen one,” the president said at one point from the South Lawn of the White House, defending his moves on trade, saying “somebody had to do it, so I’m taking on China.”

TRUMP SUGGESTS DEMS' JEWISH VOTERS LACK KNOWLEDGE OR SHOW 'GREAT DISLOYALTY,' AMID OMAR-TLAIB FEUD

In comments made before boarding Marine One, Trump also doubled down on his recent assertion that Jewish-Americans who vote for Democrats show “great disloyalty” because of the party’s embrace of Tlaib and Omar, amid an outcry from Democrats over his comments.

“In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel and only weak people would say anything other than that,” Trump said.

Democrats have called Trump out for his use of the word "disloyalty," with some likening it to anti-Semitic language that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than America.

White House condemns Tlaib and Omar on Israel, downplays recession warnings Video

The president also insisted he is still considering supporting stronger background checks for gun buyers, denying that he told the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre this week he had taken it off the table.

"I didn't say anything about that,” Trump said, though adding that the country currently has “strong background checks” on the books but he still wants “to close loopholes.”

He defended his administration’s treatment of migrants at the border, while saying he gets blamed for things that started under his predecessor. "President Obama had separation, President Obama built the cells, the cages that you people talk about and attribute them to me,” he said.

And he suggested that his administration is considering how to revoke birthright citizenship, which allows anyone born in the U.S. to automatically become an American citizen

Lawmakers push for gun control following mass shootings Video

“We’re looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” Trump said. “It’s frankly very ridiculous.”

On other issues, he defended his interest in the United States acquiring Greenland – despite Denmark’s unwillingness to negotiate – calling it a “very good idea.” On Tuesday, Trump said he was canceling a meeting with Denmark’s leader over her critical comments about his interest in Greenland.

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He also referenced left-wing protesters who recently clashed with right-wing activists in Portland, saying he considers Antifa “a terrorist organization.”

After speaking for more than 30 minutes, the president boarded Marine One to embark on a trip to Kentucky, where he is set to deliver remarks at the American Veterans 75th National Convention in Louisville.

Original Article

Trump rips Dems’ emotional press conference on Israel: ‘I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears’

close Reps. Rashida Tlaib, l., and Illan Omar hint at cutting aid to Israel Video

Reps. Rashida Tlaib, l., and Illan Omar hint at cutting aid to Israel

Washington Examiner commentary writer Tiana Lowe and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous join the debate.

President Trump tore into Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday for her emotional press conference alongside Rep. Ilhan Omar in which they condemned Israel for blocking a planned trip, calling the Michigan congresswoman an anti-Semite and saying he doesn't "buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears."

Tlaib and Omar, D-Minn., a day earlier had called for retaliatory measures, urging Congress to “conduct oversight” regarding U.S. aid to Israel as Tlaib decried the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.

TLAIB GETS EMOTIONAL AS OMAR CALLS FOR CONGRESS TO ACT OVER ISRAEL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Referencing recent conversations with her Palestinian grandmother, whom she had planned to visit before deciding she did not want to abide by Israel's restrictions, Tlaib choked up: “She said I’m her dream manifested. I’m her free bird so why would I come back and be caged and bow down?”

Trump, who has feuded with Tlaib ever since she issued a profanity-laced call for his impeachment upon joining Congress, suggested Tuesday the moment wasn't genuine.

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

Israel created a firestorm last week when it decided not to let Tlaib and Omar visit the Jewish state due to their support for boycotting Israel. Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC and even Democrats known to be pro-Israel — like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer — criticized that decision.

MIFTAH GROUP THAT PLANNED TLAIB-OMAR ISRAEL TRIP ONCE REFERRED TO SUICIDE BOMBING AS SACRIFICE 'FOR THE CAUSE'

But Tlaib subsequently drew criticism when, after getting Israel's permission to see her grandmother in the West Bank, she abruptly called off the trip — apparently unwilling to abide by restrictions on promoting Israel boycotts.

During Monday’s press conference, Tlaib stood by her decision as she also discussed her experiences visiting Jerusalem as a child.

“As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints – even though she was a United States citizen and a proud American,” she said.

Meanwhile, Omar said lawmakers “have a responsibility to conduct oversight over our government’s foreign policy and what happens with the millions of dollars we send in aid.”

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When Israel first announced the decision not to let Tlaib and Omar visit the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited their itinerary, which he said revealed that the trip’s “sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy.”

Netanyahu also noted that the trip was organized by the Palestinian organization Miftah, which has a history of supporting the movement to boycott Israel and has even referred to suicide bombers as “sacrificing their lives for the cause.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Original Article

Tlaib gets emotional as Omar calls for Congress to act over Israel travel restrictions

close Reps. Omar, Tlaib call for an end to Israel's 'occupation' of Palestinian territories Video

Reps. Omar, Tlaib call for an end to Israel's 'occupation' of Palestinian territories

Progressive 'Squad' members Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib hold news conference following canceled congressional trip to Israel.

An emotional Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Monday held back tears during a news conference as she and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar condemned Israel’s recent decision to impose restrictions on visiting the country, with the Democrats calling for Congress to get involved.

“We in the United States have a constructive role to play,” Omar said at the news conference in St. Paul, Minn. “We give Israel more than $3 million in aid every year. This is predicated on them being an important ally in the region, and the only democracy in the Middle East. But, denying a visit to duly elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally.”

WHITE HOUSE FIRES BACK AS HOUSE DEMS MULL RETALIATION OVER ISRAEL NIXING OMAR, TLAIB VISIT

Omar said lawmakers “have a responsibility to conduct oversight over our government’s foreign policy and what happens with the millions of dollars we send in aid.”

The two Muslim lawmakers held an afternoon news conference at the Minnesota State Capitol Building with Palestinian-American and Jewish-American residents of Minnesota who said they also have been affected adversely by travel restrictions to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The purpose of the event, Omar said, was to “highlight the human costs of the occupation and travel restrictions on Palestinians and others.”

"The decision to ban me and my colleague, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, is nothing less than an attempt by an ally of the United States to suppress our ability to do our jobs as elected officials," Omar said.

Joe Lieberman says feud between Israel and Reps. Omar and Tlaib is a quagmire for US-Israeli relations Video

Tlaib held back tears as she discussed her experiences visiting Jerusalem as a child.

“As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints – even though she was a United States citizen and a proud American,” she said.

Referencing recent conversations with her Palestinian grandmother, who she had planned to visit on the trip, Tlaib choked up: “She said I’m her dream manifested. I’m her free bird so why would I come back and be caged and bow down?”

Omar jumped in: “What I tell Rashida all the time is that you don’t ever allow people to enjoy your tears. I say that all the time. There are so many people invested in our pain, in our struggle, in seeing us broken.”

Earlier Monday, the White House fired back at Democrats amid reports that they may be planning retaliatory moves in Congress against two top American and Israeli diplomats.

“Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have a well-documented history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic social media posts and anti-Semitic relationships,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley. “Israel has the right to prevent people who want to destroy it from entering the country – and Democrats’ pointless congressional inquiries here in America cannot change the laws Israel has passed to protect itself.”

HOUSE DEMS COULD RETALIATE AGAINST US AND ISRAEL AMBASSADORS AFTER BANNED VISIT

According to a weekend report in McClatchy, senior Democrats in Congress were considering legislative action against Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, in response to the decision not to let Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., enter Israel. That could include a possible vote on a statement of no confidence in Dermer, as well as calls for the opening of an inspector-general investigation into Friedman.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited Omar and Tlaib’s anti-Israel statements in saying the government would block them from entering Israel as part of a planned trip.

The move – announced shortly after President Trump tweeted that it would "show great weakness" to allow them in – ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu's government stood by the decision arguing the U.S. lawmakers had an ulterior, anti-Israel agenda.

Omar and Tlaib have been outspoken critics of Israeli policies and have expressed support for boycotts of the country.

Tlaib, Omar are promoting policies that harm Israel, Rep. Lee Zeldin says Video

Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, defended Israel’s decision.

“Israel has a law that is on the books that allows them to prevent anyone to visit their country that seeks to harm their country. It would be wrong to be criticizing Israeli Prime Minister to the United States for his role in this because they don’t want to have people traveling to their country that want to harm it,” he said.

Still, while blocking the planned trip, the Israeli government said it would accept a humanitarian request from Tlaib to visit her Palestinian grandmother. But, on Friday, Tlaib said she would not travel to the West Bank to visit family, despite getting permission hours before from Israel’s interior minister.

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Read moreTlaib gets emotional as Omar calls for Congress to act over Israel travel restrictions

Miftah group that planned Tlaib-Omar Israel trip once referred to suicide bombing as sacrifice ‘for the cause’

close Tlaib, Omar dustup with Israel becomes White House talking point Video

Tlaib, Omar dustup with Israel becomes White House talking point

President Trump and Republicans say Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar's position on Israel is representative of the Democrat Party; John Roberts reports.

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are ramping up their criticism of Israel's decision to block them from entering the country, where according to Tlaib "racism and the politics of hate" are "thriving."

But in defending its decision, the Israeli government is citing the radical history of the group that was slated to sponsor the trip.

That group, named Miftah, has a long record of anti-Israel rhetoric that includes downplaying attacks on Israelis and even describing suicide bombers as "sacrificing their lives for the cause." It's a record poised to see new scrutiny as senior Democrats reportedly weigh retaliatory measures for the snub of the two freshman Democrats and the Trump and Netanyahu administrations hit back.

TLAIB, OMAR SHARE IMAGE BY ARTIST ONCE CELEBRATED IN IRAN'S HOLOCAUST CARTOON CONTEST

"The organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement), and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Netanyahu cited Miftah as he alleged the lawmakers had ulterior, anti-Israel motives in their planned Israel trip.

For instance, a 2006 Miftah report dealing with the Second Intifada – a wave of Palestinian violence in the early 2000s – discussed a 2002 Jerusalem suicide bombing under a section titled “Fighting Back.” It described the attack, where Wafa Idrees blew herself up with a bomb that killed an Israeli and injured more than 100 others, as “the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause.”

More recently, Miftah’s founder, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee, spoke against referring to Palestinian attackers as terrorists in a 2017 interview.

“They are seen by the people as resistance and you cannot somehow adopt the language of either the international community or the occupier by describing anybody who resists as a terrorist,” she told Germany’s DW.com, describing “this whole labeling thing” as “unfair and unjust.”

Miftah has not responded to Fox News’ request for clarification on their organization’s stance on violence.

The organization's position on BDS is far clearer.

“The BDS movement, to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, which arose out of Palestinian civil society, is also a crucially important force, which has great potential and deserves international attention,” wrote a member of Miftah's Media and Information Department in 2010.

“Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) give us hope,” a 2012 piece said. More recently, a June 2019 document authored by Miftah promoting an interview with Birzeit University lecturer Dr. Ghassan Khatib said, “There must be coherence between official Palestinian diplomacy and public diplomacy, one form of which is the BDS movement.”

Israeli law allows the country to bar anyone who promotes BDS from entering. Omar and Tlaib are vocal supporters of the movement and had planned a trip with a group that appears to endorse it fully. Their colleagues in the House, meanwhile, passed a resolution in opposition to BDS in July with a 398-17 vote.

“These two members were going, they were claiming to be representatives of the U.S. government, but they were seeking to undercut U.S. foreign policy and not represent our actual stance as a government,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told Fox News on Monday.

<br> Video

Miftah drew accusations of blatant anti-Semitism in 2013, when they published an article that gave credence to the medieval blood libel, the false claim that Jews use Christian blood to make matzah for the Passover holiday. They apologized after the article drew backlash, stating that “the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member.” They added that all their staff had been informed "as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews.”

TLAIB HITS BACK AT BILL MAHER FOR COMMENTS ON BDS, COMPARES ISRAEL TO APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

When the blood libel article resurfaced amid discussion of Omar and Tlaib’s planned trip, the organization took a more combative tone in addressing it, accusing “vicious hate-filled groups” of “unfounded accusations and fabrications” about Miftah, while again blaming the publication of the article on a junior staffer’s “misstep.”

Omar and Tlaib are not the first members of Congress to plan a trip to Israel through Miftah. In 2016, Reps. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., went on a trip that Miftah organized alongside the American Global Institute.

When the House voted on July’s anti-BDS resolution, Cartwright and Kildee voted in favor, while Pocan opposed it and Johnson voted present. Gutierrez is no longer in office.

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Read moreMiftah group that planned Tlaib-Omar Israel trip once referred to suicide bombing as sacrifice ‘for the cause’

White House fires back as House Dems mull retaliation over Israel nixing Omar, Tlaib visit

close Tlaib, Omar dustup with Israel becomes White House talking point Video

Tlaib, Omar dustup with Israel becomes White House talking point

President Trump and Republicans say Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar's position on Israel is representative of the Democrat Party; John Roberts reports.

The White House on Monday fired back at Democrats amid reports that they may be planning retaliatory moves in Congress against two top American and Israeli diplomats in response to Israel’s decision to block Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.

“Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have a well-documented history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic social media posts and anti-Semitic relationships,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley. “Israel has the right to prevent people who want to destroy it from entering the country – and Democrats’ pointless congressional inquiries here in America cannot change the laws Israel has passed to protect itself.”

HOUSE DEMS COULD RETALIATE AGAINST US AND ISRAEL AMBASSADORS AFTER BANNED VISIT

According to a weekend report in McClatchy, senior Democrats in Congress are considering legislative action against Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, in response to the decision not to let Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., enter Israel. That could include a possible vote on a statement of no confidence in Dermer, as well as calls for the opening of an inspector general investigation into Friedman.

Senior Democrats in Congress are considering legislative action against David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel (left), and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington (right). (Getty).

Senior Democrats in Congress are considering legislative action against David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel (left), and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington (right). (Getty).

That comes as Omar and Tlaib have announced plans for a press conference Monday where they plan to discuss “potential policy responses” to Israel’s decision to ban them.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited Omar and Tlaib’s anti-Israel statements in saying the government would block them from entering Israel as part of a planned trip.

The move – announced shortly after Trump tweeted that it would "show great weakness" to allow them in – has ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu's government stands by the decision arguing the U.S. lawmakers have an ulterior, anti-Israel agenda.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great state of Israel," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a press release.

Omar and Tlaib, who are Muslim, have been outspoken critics of Israel and have expressed support for boycotts of the country.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, defended Israel’s decision.

“Israel has a law that is on the books that allows them to prevent anyone to visit their country that seeks to harm their country. It would be wrong to be criticizing Israeli Prime Minister to the United States for his role in this because they don’t want to have people traveling to their country that want to harm it,” he said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Still, while blocking the planned trip, the Israeli government said it would accept a humanitarian request from Tlaib to visit her Palestinian grandmother. But on Friday, Tlaib said she would not travel to the West Bank to visit family, despite getting permission hours before from Israel’s interior minister.

Alleging that “racism and the politics of hate is thriving” in Israel, she said: "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice."

Trump blasted Tlaib’s decision not to visit on humanitarian grounds.

Tlaib, Omar are promoting policies that harm Israel, Rep. Lee Zeldin says Video

“Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”

Meanwhile, Tlaib’s 90-year-old grandmother, Muftia Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank, used fiery language as she ripped President Trump for his comments about the banned trip: “Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming,” she said, according to Reuters. “May God ruin him.

Tlaib's family in the West Bank also spoke to Fox News, with her uncle, Bassam Tlaib, saying, "They prevent her because they know she's coming here to see in her own eyes with the delegation, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the violation of the occupation on the people's lives here."

Netanyahu has said that Tlaib and Omar's itinerary "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy." He said Israel welcomes critics with the exception of those who support boycotts of the Jewish State.

Omar and Tlaib had planned to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on a tour organized by a Palestinian organization aimed at highlighting the plight of the Palestinians.

Read moreWhite House fires back as House Dems mull retaliation over Israel nixing Omar, Tlaib visit

Tlaib hits back at Bill Maher for comments on BDS, compares Israel to apartheid South Africa

close Trump blasts Rep. Tlaib over her refusal of Israel's offer Video

Trump blasts Rep. Tlaib over her refusal of Israel's offer

Charlie Hurt responds.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., suggested Saturday that viewers boycott comedian Bill Maher’s HBO talk show after he devoted a segment of Friday's program to bashing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling it a “bulls— purity test.”

"Maybe folks should boycott his show," said Tlaib, who went on to compare criticism of the BDS movement to the controversy surrounding boycotts of South Africa's apartheid regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

"I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom," the lawmaker continued. "This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."

Maher’s segment came one day after the Israeli government said it would deny entry to Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for their support of the BDS movement following an appeal from President Trump.

Maher opined that Omar’s past comments, in which she seemed to suggest that “Jews control the world, control the money,” might have played a part in “why they don’t get a hero’s welcome.”

Tlaib's tweet came in response to a post by Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan, who criticized “Liberal” Maher for “railing against BDS, Palestinians and Omar/Tlaib with an all-white panel featuring no Palestinians, no Arabs, no Muslims, no people of colour.”

CHARLES HURT: TLAIB USED GRANDMA AS ‘PAWN’ IN ‘POLITICAL KERFUFFLE’

On Friday, the Israeli government said Tlaib could visit her relatives in the West Bank, including her 99-year-old grandma, on humanitarian grounds. But then the Interior Ministry released a letter purportedly signed by Tlaib in which she promised not to advocate boycotts during her visit. That appears to have lead to her decision to cancel the visit.

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"Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart," she said in a statement. "Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me — it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice."

Fox News' Joseph A. Wolfsohn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

House Dems could retaliate against US and Israel ambassadors after banned visit: report

close Was Israel within its rights to ban Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib from entering their country? Video

Was Israel within its rights to ban Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib from entering their country?

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy says Israel was well within its rights to ban Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib from entering their country.

House Democrats are reportedly considering retaliatory moves against two top American and Israeli diplomats in response to Israel’s decision to block Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.

Senior Democratic members of Congress are considering legislative action against Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, according to McClatchy.

ISRAELI MINISTER RIPS TLAIB FOR NIXING TRIP, SAYS ‘HER HATE FOR ISRAEL’ OVERCOMES ‘LOVE FOR HER GRANDMOTHER’

According to the report, the Democrats are discussing a possible vote on a statement of no confidence in Dermer, as well as the opening up of an inspector general investigation into Friedman.

Meanwhile, Tlaib’s 90-year-old grandmother, Muftia Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank, used fiery language as she ripped President Trump for his comments about the banned trip: “Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming,” she said, according to Reuters. “May God ruin him.”

Earlier in the week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited Omar and Tlaib’s anti-Israel statements in saying it would block her and another Democratic congresswoman from entering Israel as part of a planned trip.

The move – announced shortly after Trump tweeted that it would "show great weakness" to allow them in – has ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu's government stands by the decision arguing the U.S. lawmakers have an ulterior, anti-Israel agenda.

ILHAN OMAR ACCUSES NETANYAHU OF IMPOSING ‘MUSLIM BAN’ AS DEMS DECRY DECISION TO BLOCK ISRAEL VISIT

Both Omar and Tlaib are Muslim. They are also outspoken critics of Israel and have expressed support for boycotts of the country.

Fox News visits the West Bank home of Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother

Fox News visits the West Bank home of Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother

Progressive 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib says she won't visit her grandmother on West Bank 'under these oppressive conditions'; Trey Yingst reports.

Still, while blocking the planned trip, the Israeli government said it would accept a humanitarian request from Tlaib to visit her Palestinian grandmother. But on Friday, Tlaib said she would not travel to the West Bank to visit family, despite getting permission hours before from Israel’s interior minister.

Trump blasted Tlaib’s decision not to visit on humanitarian grounds.

“Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Netanyahu has said that Tlaib and Omar's itinerary "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy." He said Israel welcomes critics with the exception of those who support boycotts of the Jewish State.

Omar and Tlaib had planned to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on a tour organized by a Palestinian organization aimed at highlighting the plight of the Palestinians.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Reporter’s Notebook: Spat over scrapped ‘Squad’ members’ Israel visit is tricky politics for both sides

closeNotable Quotables from the 'Squad's clash with IsraelVideo

Notable Quotables from the 'Squad's clash with Israel

Highlights from another busy week in Washington and around the world.

Is it a blip? Or is it a recalibration?

Israel has had no better friend than the United States for decades. But the recent flare-up over Israel’s refusal to admit Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., could reverberate deep into the future on a litany of political fronts. Some of President Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers in Congress quickly rushed to Israel’s defense – including Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. In fact, it was Trump who first argued that Israel shouldn’t allow Omar and Tlaib to travel there.

But Israel could have bigger problems after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., one of the most pro-Israel voices in Congress, lashed out Benjamin Netanyahu's government for its treatment of the first-term Congresswomen.

ISRAEL MINISTER RIPS TLAIB FOR NIXING TRIP, SAYS 'HER HATRED FOR ISRAEL' OVERRIDES 'HER LOVE FOR HER GRANDMOTHER'

Hoyer just returned from Israel days ago after escorting a large delegation of House members there, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

"To my knowledge, no Member of Congress has ever asked to agree to preconditions in order to visit Israel,” argued Hoyer. “Not only was this request disrespectful of Rep. Tlaib but of the United States Congress as well."

Hoyer continued his excoriation, calling the dispute "a self-inflicted wound by one of America’s closest allies."

Democrats were upset that Israel didn’t admit Omar and Tlaib. But the U.S. government blocked a member of the Israeli Knesset from coming here in 2012 on grounds they were linked to terrorist organizations.

The Five reacts to Tlaib's curtailed trip to IsraelVideo

On Friday, Tlaib seemed to give different reasons for her mission to the Palestinian-controlled territory where her grandmother lives.

“In preparation for my visit, my grandmother was deciding which fig tree we would pick from together,” Tlaib said. “The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter – reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support.”

RASHIDA TLAIB SIGNALS SHE WON'T GO TO WEST BANK, DESPITE GETTING ISRAELI MINISTER'S PERMISSION

But later in the same press release, Tlaib asserted that she may wish to speak out against Israel and engage in political activism. That’s why Israel asked the Michigan Democrat to sign a waiver against such activity, considering some of the controversial statements Tlaib has made in the past.

Tlaib argued that Israel’s conditions were an effort to “humiliate me” and that Israel was “silencing me.” Tlaib claimed that agreeing to such conditions “would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice.”

So, was this about fig trees and visiting grandma or something else? Right or wrong, perhaps the Israeli government perceived Tlaib’s predicate for the visit as the ultimate fig leaf.

Rashida Tlaib declines West Bank visit despite Israel's permissionVideo

Congressional Democrats find themselves in an awkward spot with Tlaib.

Many Democrats who are ardent backers of Israel denounced the Israeli government's decision – even though some of those same Democrats have their own reservations about things both Omar and Tlaib have said. There is a risk in this move by Israel. Is Netanyahu betting solely on President Trump? That could backfire if the contretemps over Omar and Tlaib is more than a blip. Trump and Netanyahu may be in lock-step now. But what happens if U.S. voters don’t reelect the president next year? How do powerful pro-Israel lawmakers like Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., approach Israel in the future?

The likes of Hoyer, Schumer, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., are in a funny spot defending Omar and Tlaib – Democratic colleagues with whom they vehemently disagree when it comes to their views on Israel. But many lawmakers feel they have to defend their colleague and the institution of Congress – even if they disagree with said colleagues' inflammatory statements.

President Trump slams Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib over IsraelVideo

Moreover, there is an “optics” issue for Democrats. Democrats are trying to appeal to middle-of-the-road, suburban voters who aren’t impressed by liberal ideas like “Medicare for All” or the “Green New Deal. Democrats are trying to spend the August recess talking about bread and butter issues and health care. And yet what’s front and center? Two members of "the squad": Omar and Tlaib. Average Americans may not understand the nuances of the Middle East conflict and what vexes Israelis and Palestinians. But lots of news about Omar and Tlaib and the Middle East is not the narrative Democrats hoped to hone this month.

No wonder Republicans have a field day trying to portray all Democrats as too extreme and as “socialists.” That disaffects many voters in the middle. All the average voter hears is Omar and Tlaib. Those voters believe the duo is too far left and controversy follows them everywhere they go – or don’t go. The problem is that voters then project that view onto many other Democrats.

However, this fighting is not all beneficial for Trump. Tlaib and Omar may be controversial. But they both come from swing states which could be in play in 2020.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother, family members say they support her decision not to visit IsraelVideo

Michigan boasts a sizable Arab-American population. Omar took the Minnesota seat once held by the first Muslim in Congress, former Rep. Keith Ellison, who retired to become the state's attorney general.

Read moreReporter’s Notebook: Spat over scrapped ‘Squad’ members’ Israel visit is tricky politics for both sides

Israeli minister rips Tlaib for nixing trip, says ‘her hate for Israel’ overcomes ‘love for her grandmother’

closeTlaib signals she won't visit Israel after all despite getting permissionVideo

Tlaib signals she won't visit Israel after all despite getting permission

Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweets that visiting her grandmother under 'oppressive conditions' would stand against everything she believes in; Rich Edson has the latest from the State Department.

Israel’s interior minister tore into U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Friday for abruptly canceling plans to visit family in the West Bank after the government granted permission for the trip in a bid to smooth over a diplomatic firestorm.

“Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother,” Aryeh Deri tweeted.

RASHIDA TLAIB SIGNALS SHE WON'T GO TO WEST BANK, DESPITE GETTING ISRAELI MINISTER'S PERMISSION

The dueling statements from Tlaib and the Israeli government are poised to escalate a confrontation that briefly seemed to be ebbing Friday morning – when Deri granted Tlaib’s request on humanitarian grounds to see her grandmother in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

This came after the Israeli government drew bipartisan criticism in Washington for refusing entry to Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as part of a broader visit.

But then Tlaib, in a scathing statement and set of tweets, announced she had decided not to go, saying "oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart."

Alleging that “racism and the politics of hate is thriving” in Israel, she wrote: "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice."

This was an apparent reference to Tlaib's earlier pledge not to promote boycotts of Israel during her visit. Tlaib indicated Friday that she did not want to abide by such restrictions.

"I can't allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies," she said.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib says she will not visit Israel after ban is lifted on her entryVideo

Deri responded on Twitter with skepticism, noting she had just sent a letter asking to visit her grandmother and saying it may be her last chance to do so.

“I approved her request as a gesture of goodwill on a humanitarian basis, but it was just a provocative request, aimed at bashing the State of Israel,” he wrote.

ISRAEL BLOCKS OMAR, TLAIB FROM ENTERING COUNTRY AMID PRESSURE FROM TRUMP

Her cancellation of the trip was the latest in a head-spinning series of reversals concerning plans by her and Omar to visit Israel.

The government earlier this year had signaled the two outspoken critics of Israel would be allowed to visit, for a trip planned for this weekend. But on Thursday, under pressure from President Trump, the government announced they would be blocked from entry — citing their support for an anti-Israel boycott movement.

Still, the government said it would accept a humanitarian request from Tlaib, who then sent a formal request to Deri to visit her Palestinian grandmother in the West Bank.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” Tlaib reportedly wrote of her grandmother, who is in her 90s. “I will respect any restrictions and I will not promote any boycotts against Israel during my visit.”

Israel swiftly granted approval.

Yet Tlaib on Friday likened the conditions to "silencing me & treating me like a criminal," saying: "It would kill a piece of me."

It remains unclear whether either congresswoman will make any new attempt to visit the region at this stage. Democratic lawmakers on Thursday blasted Israel's initial decision to block them as a sign of "weakness." Even pro-Israel lobby AIPAC came out against the move.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official Twitter account said Thursday that the congresswomen's itinerary "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy."

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Read moreIsraeli minister rips Tlaib for nixing trip, says ‘her hate for Israel’ overcomes ‘love for her grandmother’

Lindsey Graham supports Israel barring Omar, Tlaib, says there needs to be ‘consequences’ for supporting BDS

closeIsrael denies Reps. Omar and Tlaib entry amid Trump pressureVideo

Israel denies Reps. Omar and Tlaib entry amid Trump pressure

Freshman congresswomen blocked from entering Israel; reaction and analysis from the 'Special Report' all-star panel.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thursday defended Israel’s decision to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., from visiting the country for a scheduled visit this weekend, saying there need to be consequences for their support of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).

The South Carolina Republican told WLTX-TV that while he understands they are “duly elected members of Congress,” he appreciates why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would feel the need to block them from entering the country, The Hill reported.

LINDSEY GRAHAM SLAMS DEM COLLEAGUES FOR BRAZEN WARNING TO SUPREME COURT

Israeli law allows the country to block people who support boycotts of Israel, but waivers can be given for politicians and diplomats. Early Friday, Israel announced that Tlaib would be permitted to enter the Jewish State if she pledged not to promote a boycott of Israel, which she did.

After it was initially announced, several Democrats and Republicans have come out against Israel's decision.

“I disagree 100% with Reps. Tlaib & Omar on #Israel & am the author of the #AntiBDS bill we passed in the Senate,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted, “But denying them entry into #Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Omar and Tlaib were among 17 members of Congress who voted against a resolution condemning BDS in July. The resolution easily passed.

Original Article

AIPAC chides Israel for decision to block Omar, Tlaib visit

closeIsrael blocks entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida TlaibVideo

Israel blocks entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

The Israeli government makes a last-minute decision to ban the progressive 'Squad' members from entering Israel ahead of their scheduled visit on Friday; Trey Yingst reports from Jerusalem.

In a surprise move, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee chided the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for barring two freshman Democratic congresswomen from entering the country ahead of a planned visit.

In a tweet, AIPAC stated that while the organization does not agree with the support Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have voiced for a Palestinian-led boycott movement – or for Tlaib’s calls for a “one-state solution” to the decades-long conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians – it believes the two lawmakers should be permitted to enter Israel.

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution,” AIPAC tweeted on Thursday. “We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

AIPAC's nonprofit arm, the American-Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), hosts annual Israel trips for freshman lawmakers. Critics have argued those trips cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a negative light for Palestinians.

HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY OKS RESOLUTION OPPOSING ISRAEL BOYCOTT IN RARE BIPARTISAN VOTE

The unprecedented move to bar Tlaib and Omar from visiting marks a deep foray by Israel into America's bitterly polarized politics. It came shortly after President Trump tweeted that the Israeli government would "show great weakness" if it allowed the lawmakers into the country. It is also a sharp escalation of Israel's campaign against the international boycott movement.

"They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds," Trump said before calling the two congresswomen "a disgrace."

In a statement, Netanyahu said Israel is "open to critics and criticism," except for those who advocate boycotts against it.

"Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress," Netanyahu said. He added that their itinerary "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy."

NEW ‘SQUAD’ TALKING POINT: BOYCOTTING ISRAEL LIKE BOYCOTTING NAZI GERMANY

The two newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib's family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank. Israel said it would consider any request from Tlaib to visit relatives on humanitarian grounds.

Israel has sought to combat the BDS movement, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli businesses, universities and cultural institutions. The country passed a law permitting a ban on entry to any activist who "knowingly issues a call for boycotting Israel."

Katie Pavlich: Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib set up IsraelVideo

The decision to ban the congresswomen could further sharpen divisions among Democrats over the issue of Israel ahead of the 2020 elections. Republicans have amplified the views of left-wing Democrats like Tlaib and Omar to present the party as deeply divided and at odds with Israel. Democratic leaders have pushed back, reiterating the party's strong support for Israel, in part to protect representatives from more conservative districts.

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Other American Jewish organizations also have objected to barring the two lawmakers from entering the country. The American Jewish Congress said that despite Omar and Tlaib's planned "propaganda exercise," it believed that "the costs in the U.S. of barring the entry of two members of Congress may prove even higher than the alternative."

Rep. McCarthy: Democratic support for Israel weakeningVideo

Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Barack Obama, said that he knew of "no such precedent" for Israel barring an elected American official from entering the country. He called the government's decision "short-sighted."

"There's no reason to prevent members of Congress, including critical ones, from coming, seeing and learning, offering them every possible briefing," Shapiro said. "By refusing them entry, it will only fuel the very things that Israel claims to be unhappy about" when it comes to calls for boycotts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Israel may bar Omar, Tlaib from entering country over support of BDS movement: reports

close'Squad' member Rep. Rashida Tlaib doubles down on support for Israel boycott movementVideo

'Squad' member Rep. Rashida Tlaib doubles down on support for Israel boycott movement

The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize the existence of Israel and progressive 'Squad' member Rep. Rashida Tlaib embraces that, says Dr. Qanta Ahmed, member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Israeli officials told the country's lawmakers Wednesday that U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., may be barred from entering Israel for a planned visit this weekend, according to reports.

The two freshman congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a pro-Palestinian advocacy organization, but Israeli law says those supporting boycotts of the country may be denied entry.

Waivers can be granted for diplomatic figures, however, Haaretz reported.

HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY OKS RESOLUTION OPPOSING ISRAEL BOYCOTT IN RARE BIPARTISAN VOTE

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure from Democratic leaders and some U.S.-based Israel advocacy groups that are advising against barring the congresswomen, The Washington Post reported. He has not yet made a decision, according to Haaretz.

State Department updates 'anti-Semitism' definition following Omar's anti-Israel resolutionVideo

In July, Israel’s U.S. ambassador said the country would not bar U.S. lawmakers out of “respect” for Congress and Israel’s longtime “alliance” with the U.S.

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President Trump was reportedly frustrated last week when Israel announced the congresswomen would be allowed in the country, The Post reported.

Israeli officials said an announcement about the lawmakers would be made Thursday.

Original Article

Bernie Sanders threatens to ‘leverage’ US aid to combat Israel ‘racism’

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New Hampshire poll shows Bernie Sanders with lead over Biden

Reaction and analysis from John Pence, Vice President Pence's nephew, on 'Fox &amp; Friends First.'

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., threatened Tuesday to use billions of dollars in aid to Israel as “leverage” to combat what he called “racism” from the Jewish state’s government, while going so far as to compare America's Israel alliance to its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Sanders, one of the leading candidates in the Democratic presidential primary race and an increasingly vocal critic of the Netanyahu government, said during a New Hampshire town hall event that the U.S. should take a broader view of the Middle East – and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular – and not always side with Israel.

SANDERS CAMPAIGN'S #MYBERNIESTORY BACKFIRES AS GRUDGE-BEARING DEMS LASH OUT OVER 2016

“The United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel, and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel,” he said.

Sanders compared the situation to the United States' alliance with Saudi Arabia, which he called “a corrupt, murderous regime” despite being “good pals of ours” while opposing Iran.

“You can criticize both,” he said.

Regarding the absence of a lasting peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, Sanders did make clear that he is not blaming only one side.

BERNIE SANDERS SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE IS BIGGEST THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY

“The fault is not all with Israel, you have very poor and corrupt Palestinian leadership, but what the goal of the United States has got to be is to bring people in the region together, the Palestinians and the Israelis to create a kind of workable peace which works for both parties, not just one.”

This echoed what the self-proclaimed democratic socialist said in July on the “Pod Save America” podcast, where he said, "Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel. It has got to be pro-region working with all of the people, all of the countries in that area.” In that segment, Sanders also made the Saudi Arabia comparison and suggested using aid as leverage.

If elected, Sanders would be the first Jewish president. As such, he insisted at the New Hampshire event that opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government is not anti-Semitic.

The Democratic Party lately has struggled with how to frame criticism of Israel's government, with some lawmakers accusing members like Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., of using anti-Semitic language in suggesting Israel supporters in America are bought. She and congressional allies have also likened boycotts of Israel to boycotts of Nazi Germany.

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The U.S. State Department recently updated its definition of anti-Semitism to include, "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis."

Sanders has not used such language. But his accusations that the Netanyahu government is racist have drawn a rebuke from pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which earlier this year tweeted in response: "Name-calling by political leaders against the democratically elected government of Israel is counterproductive to maintaining close ties and advancing peace."

Fox News' Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.

Original Article

State Dept. updates ‘anti-Semitism’ definition following Omar’s anti-Israel resolution

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Fox News Flash top headlines for August 11

Fox News Flash top headlines for August 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

The U.S. State Department recently revised its definition of anti-Semitism, in an apparent response to recent comments and actions by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

The previous definition of anti-Semitism, issued in May, listed 10 examples. The revised definition now lists 11 examples, adding that anti-Semitism now includes “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The leader of a U.S.-based pro-Israel organization praised the move last week.

HOUSE OVERWHLEMINGLY OKS RESOLUTION OPPOSING ISRAEL BOYCOTT IN RARE BIPARTISAN VOTE

“Kudos to @SecPompeo and Special Envoy Elan Carr,” Adam Milstein, a philanthropist and co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “It’s more clear now, the BDS Movement is disgustingly Antisemitic.”

BDS refers to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, whose supporters call for the withdrawal of financial support for the Israeli government in protest of the treatment of Palestinian people.

The State Department revision followes last month's overwhelming bipartisan 398-17 vote by the U.S. House of representatives to oppose an international effort to boycott Israel.

Omar's intention

Omar, who cast one of the 17 dissenting votes, countered with a resolution of her own, supporting the right to boycott foreign governments “to advocate for human rights abroad,” and likening the action to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Her resolution did not mention Israel or the Palestinians. But she made her intention clear when she spoke with reporters.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar likens anti-Israel resolution to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet UnionVideo

But several House Democrats gave Omar’s resolution little chance of passage.

“I can’t imagine that any committee is going to mark up or take seriously any pro-BDS resolution,” U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said last month.

“Am I worried about the overall BDS movement worldwide as an economic matter? No. As an effort to delegitimize Israel, of course. The comments here today are a tiny part of that delegitimizing effort.”

Petition to censure Omar, Tlaib

Meanwhile, the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice recently launched an online petition, calling for Congress to censure Omar as well as her Democratic colleague, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, over rhetoric that the ACLJ describes as anti-Semitic.

“Rep. Omar said that support for Israel is ‘all about the Benjamins’ – a bigoted accusation that Jews control all the money,” the petition states. “She’s attacked Jews and anyone who supports Israel as having a dual allegiance – another anti-Semitic trope.

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“Rep. Tlaib said she has a ‘calming feeling’ about the Holocaust,” the petition continues. “Someone espousing these bigoted views should not have access to classified information or sit on congressional committees such as the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

It states later: “Take action with us. Fight back against anti-Semitism. Demand Reps. Omar and Tlaib be removed from the committees and censured.”

Fox News' Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this story.

Original Article