Gillibrand: We Need to Hold Israel 'Accountable'

2020 hopeful: Trump has refused to stand up to Israel, China, and Russia

August 18, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said Sunday that the United States needs to hold Israel "accountable" for barring two members of Congress from entering the country.

"Should there be repercussions for Israel?" ABC's This Week host Martha Raddatz asked.

"I think as a friend and ally, we need to hold them accountable," Gillibrand said.

Last week, Israel denied entry to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) because of their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. President Donald Trump applauded Israel's decision to deny entry to the two congresswoman while a bipartisan group of lawmakers criticized Israel's decision.

Israeli officials later decided to give Tlaib permission to enter the country for humanitarian purposes so she could visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank. Tlaib declined Israel's offer to enter the country and visit her grandmother because of the country's "racist treatment."

"How do you hold them accountable?" Raddatz asked.

"That's what you do as president, President Trump is unwilling to hold anyone accountable. He's unwilling to stand up to other world leaders. You've seen this with instance of Israel, seen it with China and Russia," Gillibrand said.

"I don't know why Netanyahu would want to deny members of Congress to come to Israel if they expect us to be that never-ending partner and friend," Gillibrand added.