‘It is completely unclear that he represents his government…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Congressional Democrats are exploring options for punishing the Israeli and American ambassadors after they influenced Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, and Ilhan Omar, D-MN, from Israel.
More than ten senior House Democrats, including Jewish members, on Friday weighed communicating a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in both the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, McClatchy D.C. Bureau reported.
The Democrats said they might release a statement of no confidence in Dermer while beginning an investigation into Friedman’s actions.
“We are reviewing all of our options,” a senior congressional source said, according to McClatchy. “With Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government given he has made promises that he has not kept and wasn’t clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”
Reps. Eliot Engel, D-NY, and Nita Lowey, D-NY, both hold top positions in the House, as Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, respectively.
As top-ranking Jewish Democrats, they’re leading the charge to see the Trump administration’s ambassador to Israel punished.
Some reports said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, was engaged in the talks.
Although Hoyer said Israel’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar reflects poorly on Israel’s relationship with the United States, his spokeswoman Katie Grant said he is not participating in discussions about punishing Dermer and Friedman.
Hoyer called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision “deeply disappointing,” “disrespectful,” “unacceptable” and a “self-inflicted wound, McClatchy DC Bureau reported.
Dermer previously told Hoyer that “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any Member of Congress into Israel.”
Dermer and the Israeli government changed their position in light of a law that, due to safety concerns, bans persons who support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country