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The Schmooze

John Legend, Mayim Bialik And More Condemn Israel’s Ban Of Omar And Tlaib

Israel is in the news every day. Less common are days when every American in Congress, many major world leaders and R&B star John Legend publicly criticize the country.

On Thursday morning, the Israeli Interior Ministry announced its decision to ban Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar and Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.

The two women — the first Muslim women to serve in Congress — had planned a congressional visit to Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib’s grandmother lives, for this weekend. Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer confirmed last month that Omar and Tlaib would not be denied entry in response to questions had arisen due to their support of the boycott, divest and sanction movement, or BDS.

The announcement of the ban came after President Trump reportedly told advisers that the congresswomen shouldn’t be allowed to enter Israel; the president tweeted his support for keeping them out of Israel on Thursday morning. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” he wrote. Reports last week alleged that Trump had been pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deny entry to Omar and Tlaib.

American lawmakers from Marco Rubio to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have condemned the decision. Major celebrities, Jewish and not, have also spoken out against the ban. Here are their comments:

John Legend:

Sarah Silverman:

Mayim Bialik:

Jason Alexander:

Julie Klausner:

Rob Reiner:

Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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