Traveling to Israel is a rite of passage for members of Congress, especially freshmen. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, and Representative Steny Hoyer, the Democratic leader, held a joint news conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, along with dozens of members, in a show of bipartisan support.
“We understand the importance of this relationship,” Mr. McCarthy said then. “We understand undeniably the bond that has to be maintained, and you have that support in the House.”
Both men urged then that Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar be allowed to visit. When Israel refused, citing what officials viewed as the congresswomen’s one-sided itinerary, Mr. McCarthy issued a careful statement on Twitter saying they should have come with their colleagues, and that it was “unfortunate that a few freshmen members declined to join this opportunity to hear from all sides.”
As Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to portray themselves as the only party for American Jews, Democrats in Congress have gone to great lengths this year to show their support for the Jewish state and to isolate Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar.
Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, known as B.D.S. After Ms. Omar criticized AIPAC in remarks that were widely construed as anti-Semitic, Democratic leaders called on her to apologize — she did — and the House later passed a resolution condemning hatred of any kind.
But the Israeli government’s decision to bar the two women has strong supporters of Israel like Representative Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey and no fan of Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar, taking issue with the Jewish state. Mr. Gottheimer, a centrist, called Israel’s decision “a serious, strategic mistake.”
Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu have also helped turn Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar into victims in the eyes of the liberal left. That has energized the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which is already deeply critical of the Netanyahu administration, and thrust Israel policy into the center of the 2020 electoral debate.
“Trump and Netanyahu are enabling one another to make Republicans the go-to party on Israel and Democrats the devil, eroding the bipartisanship that is so critical to the U.S.-Israel special bond,” said Mr. Miller, the former Middle East negotiator. “It is not yet fatal. But a few more years of the Trump-Netanyahu experience and it may well be.”