Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Israel’s Denial of Visas to U.S. Members of Congress

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after Israel indicated it would deny entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) under pressure from President Trump:

“This is not what democracies do. It is an unprecedented attack on the values every democracy holds dear: the freedom to express dissent and to engage in political debate. A U.S. congressional delegation just returned from Israel, but now, at President Trump’s urging, Prime Minister Netanyahu is choosing to forbid these two particular members from traveling there? He and the president seem quite afraid of giving voice or access to anyone who disagrees with them.

“It’s the move of a dictatorship, not a democracy. What a shame that one of our strongest allies is being used as a political football in Trump’s petty grievances with people who don’t share his beliefs.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.