Rashida Tlaib Begged to See Aging Grandmother Prior to Refusing Trip to Israel

ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images
ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) will not visit Israel, despite writing a letter to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri Thursday, begging to see her aging grandmother and prompting Israel to reverse its decision.

On Thursday morning, Israel confirmed its decision to bar Reps. Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from entering the country due to their ongoing support of the BDS movement.

“Congressmen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting boycott legislation against Israel in the U.S. Congress,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that their itinerary revealed that the objective of their visit was to “to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

His statement read in part:

For instance: they listed the destination of their trip as Palestine and not Israel, and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have visited Israel, they did not request to meet any Israeli officials, either from the government or the opposition.

Tlaib wrote a letter to Interior Minister Deri Thursday, requesting to see her relatives in the West Bank – her aging grandmother, specifically. She promised to abide by Israel’s rules and refrain from promoting boycotts.

Her letter read:

I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit

Israel honored her request, but Tlaib refused to accept its reversal, putting the concerns of her grandmother aside due to Israel’s “oppressive conditions.”

“When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions,” she tweeted Friday.

“I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies,” she continued.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,” she added.

“I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,” she closed:

It remains unclear if Tlaib planned to reject Israel’s offer prior to sending the letter Thursday.

Deri responded to Tlaib’s decision Friday, writing, “Her hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother”:

Congresswoman Rashida Talib has now tweeted that she will not come to Israel. Last night, she sent me a letter asking her to allow her 90-year-old grandmother to visit “because this could be my last chance to meet her.” I approved it humanitarian, but it turns out that it was a provocation to embarrass Israel. Her hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother

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