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U.S. feminists call on members of Congress not to visit Israel after lawmakers ban

U.S. Reps Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hold a news conference. [Reuters Photo]

Freshman congressman , actress and activist urged others to not visit , BDS movement tweeted. "I would like to see a commitment from my representatives in Washington NOT to travel to Israel until ALL members of are welcome," Nixon tweeted Aug. 15, the day of the .

Three American feminists said Thursday they would not visit after it banned two U.S. congresswomen last week from entry, according to a Palestine rights group.

Freshman congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, actress Cynthia Nixon and activist Gloria Steinmen urged others to not visit Israel, pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement tweeted.

"I would like to see a commitment from my representatives in Washington NOT to travel to Israel until ALL members of are welcome," Nixon tweeted Aug. 15, the day of the .

Ocasio-Cortez reacted to the ban by saying it hurts international relations. "[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's discriminatory decision to ban members of Congress from Israel harms int'l diplomacy," she said.

Two days later Steinmen posted a lengthy statement on the microblogging platform in which she recalled a dinner in the 1980s she attended in New York when Netanyahu, at the time Israeli envoy to the UN. You were a "conversational bully to your guests then, just as you are a bully to these two elected women leaders now … If you and [U.S. President Donald] Trump continue to imitate each other, you will eventually be alone together at the table. I could wish both of you no greater punishment than that."

The Israeli government opted to block Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting the country and the occupied West Bank after Trump tweeted "it would show great weakness" if they were allowed in.

The decision sparked sweeping condemnation.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio called the decision "a mistake." And the staunchly pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which works to ensure bipartisan support for Israel on Capitol Hill, issued a tepid rebuke of Israel's decision.

Netanyahu said his government was blocked Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel because of their support for an international boycott movement of his country.

The elected representatives have been vocal proponents of the BDS movement which seeks to ramp up economic pressure on Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, and its continued construction of settlements in the West Bank that are considered illegal under international law.

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