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Israel bars Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country after pressure from President Donald Trump; an Italian court suspends Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s migrant ship ban, but he’s not budging.
Israel bars Omar and Tlaib from visiting the country
- Israel has barred Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from visiting the country, a move that was heavily supported by President Donald Trump. [Vox / Alex Ward]
- The two women, who were the first female Muslim members of Congress, had planned a private trip organized by Palestinian-led nonprofit to tour Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib’s grandmother lives. [NYT / Isabel Kershner]
- They also had strained relationships with the country because of their support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. They also vocal supporters for legislation that would make it US policy to boycott Israel, although it was overwhelmingly voted against 398-17. [Politico / Sarah Ferris, John Bresnahan, and Heather Caygle]
- Initially, Israel had decided against barring the two congresswomen for visiting, but then Trump intervened. Tlaib and Omar are prominent critics of the president, and Trump has lashed back by targeting them on social media (including the infamous “go back” tweets) and repeatedly calling them “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.” [Al Jazeera]
- Trump’s intervention was surprising. Even more astonishing, however, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response: it marks a new phase in the close relationship between the two leaders — one with a partisan tinge. [CNN / Oren Liebermann, Abeer Salman, and Michael Schwartz]
- Omar and Tlaib have called the decision “a sign of weakness” and “an insult to democratic values.” Several groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel group that rarely speaks against the country’s government, have also pushed for Israel to let the two congresswomen in. [The Washington Post / John Hudson and Ruth Eglash]
- This move will most likely strain the already tense relationship between Israel and the Democratic Party, which is growing less and less sympathetic to Israel than in past years. [Vox / Alex Ward]
Salvini defies court to bar migrants’ entry
- Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has made it clear that he’s willing to even disobey the courts to bar migrants from entering Italy, drawing criticism from surrounding countries. [Al Jazeera]
- Spanish charity ship Open Arms picked up about 150 migrants on the shores of Libya in early August but was unable to find an Italian port that would let them disembark due to Salvini’s ban on migrant rescue ships. [Reuters / Gavin Jones and Ingrid Melander]
- The migrants had been stranded at sea for about two weeks when an Italian court suspended Salvini’s ban on Wednesday. The court ruled that the ban violated international laws and that the situation was too grave to be ignored. [AP / Giada Zampano and Renata Brito]
- Salvini, however, defied the court, and it remains unclear what the fate of future migrant ships will be (despite having the court on their side). With Salvini unwilling to budge, six countries — France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain, and Luxembourg — announced Thursday that they would take in the migrants. [Deutsche Welle]
- Salvini has spearheaded several anti-immigrant policies, and this latest incident shows even the courts might not deter him from blocking out migrants. [CNN / Nicola Ruotolo, Sarah Dean, and Tara John]
- More importantly, there’s a good chance that migrant ships like Open Arms will end up becoming collateral damage in Italy’s government crisis. Salvini has called for snap elections that could possibly make him prime minister, and he’s ready to campaign with the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has fueled his party’s rise. [AP / Frances D’Emilio]
“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. The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.” [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from visiting the country]
Watch this: What the US gets wrong about minimum wage
Raising the minimum wage doesn’t have to be so hard. [YouTube / Madeline Marshall]
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