Rashida Tlaib Rejects Israel’s Offer to Visit Grandmother: ‘Treating Me Like a Criminal’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said Friday she will not visit her grandmother in Israel’s West Bank after the Jewish state granted her entry to do so 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 sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter.

“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,” the far-left lawmaker added.

Earlier Friday, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Tlaib had requested and was granted permission to enter the West Bank to visit her relatives, including her 90-year-old grandmother.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit,” Tlaib wrote to Deri.

The development comes after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed the Jewish state would deny entry to far-left freshman congresswoman and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), citing their support for the BDS movement.

“Israel has decided — we won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Hotovely told Israeli public radio, according to the Times of Israel.

“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,” she added.

The announcement came after a Channel 12 report stating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering a proposal to block the “Squad” members from entering the country on Sunday.

In 2017, Israel enacted a law that prohibits a foreigner entry who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.” The Interior and Strategic Affairs ministries have used the rule to deny anti-Israel activists entry to the country.

Netanyahu expanded on Israel’s decision to bar the lawmakers in a Facebook post,

“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.

In recent days, President Donald Trump reportedly lamented the idea of the far-left lawmakers visiting Israel and took to Twitter 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 tweeted. “Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

In July, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution rejecting the BDS campaign targeting Israel — a measure Omar and Tlaib voted against.

The resolution, formally known as House Resolution 246, also called for additional security aid to Israel.

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.


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