Israel’s interior minister blasted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for rejecting the Jewish state’s offer to allow the far-left congresswoman to visit relatives in Israel’s West Bank, saying her “hatred” for the country outweighs her love for her grandmother.
“Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib just tweeted that she will not visit Israel. Last night, she sent me a letter asking me to allow her to visit her grandmother, who is in her 90s, because ‘this might be my last opportunity to see her.’ I agreed to this humanitarian request, but it turns out that it was just a provocation aimed at embarrassing Israel,” tweeted Aryeh Deri.
Deri’s statement came in response to Tlaib’s announcement earlier Friday she will not visit her grandmother in the West Bank after the country said it would grant her entry under humanitarian circumstances.
“When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my city to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies,” Tlaib tweeted.
“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,” she added:
In a letter obtained by CNN, Deri revealed Tlaib had requested and was granted permission to enter the West Bank to visit her grandmother, who is 90 years old.
“This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit,” the Michigan Democrat wrote to Deri.
The move comes after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed that Tlaib and fellow far-left freshman congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) would be barred from the country, citing their support for the anti-Israel BDS movement.
“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” Hotovely told Israeli public radio.
Israel in 2017 passed a law prohibiting a foreigner entry who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.”
In a Facebook post, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explained why Omar and Tlaib were banned from visiting.
“As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel, as is the case with other democracies that prevent the entry of people whose perception harms the country,” Netanyahu said.
“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” he added.
President Donald Trump reportedly lamented the idea of the far-left lawmakers visiting Israel in recent days and took to Twitter on Thursday to express his displeasure.
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” the president wrote on Twitter “Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
The House of Representatives in July overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting the BDS campaign targeting Israel, which Omar and Tlaib voted against.
Omar previously introduced a measure countering the anti-BDS resolution which affirms Americans’ right to participate in boycotts, which Tlaib is a co-sponsor of.