Congressman Adriano Espaillat released the following statement in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to deny Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05) entry into Israel:
“As a co-chair of the Latino-Jewish Caucus and a member of the Foreign Affairs committee, I strongly disagree with the Israeli government’s decision to deny entry to my colleagues, Congresswoman Omar and Congresswoman Tlaib, and condemn President Trump for encouraging this politically biased decision,” said Congressman Espaillat.
“While I may not share all of my colleagues’ opinions on these issues, this action flies in the face of our values as a nation, which Israel has long said it shares. Criticism should not be silenced and this attempt to close off dialogue undermines the ability to attain mutual understanding.
“I have traveled to Israel in my official capacity and found it a valuable and educational experience, where I learned first-hand of Israel’s challenges and how it works to protect its citizens’ security. Only through person-to-person dialogue and shared leaning can we bring together people of varied perspectives in order to promote peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. That is precisely why the Israeli government should encourage the visit of the first two Muslim American women in Congress, rather than prevent it.
“I strongly urge the Israeli government to reverse this decision and allow Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar to continue with their travel.”
First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee. He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.