Tlaib Would Rather Bash Israel Than Visit Grandma

'This type of oppression is painful for all humanity'

Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar/ Getty Images
August 16, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Friday announced shortly after Israel allowed her to enter the country for "humanitarian purposes" to see her grandmother that she would not be visiting Israel after all because of its "racist treatment" of her.

Tlaib sent out a full press release outlining her reasons for no longer visiting "Palestine" and Israel, saying, "Being silent and not condemning the human rights violations of the Israeli government is a disservice to all who live there, including my incredibly strong and loving grandmother."

Shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that Israel would "show great weakness" by allowing Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) to enter into country for a scheduled trip to the West Bank, Israel announced the two congresswomen would not be allowed entry.

In response to the ban, Tlaib appealed the decision late Thursday by writing a letter to the Israeli interior minister, Aryeh Deri, pleading to see her relatives, specifically her grandmother, who lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa, which is in the West Bank.

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

Deri's office responded to the letter by allowing Tlaib to visit on the condition she not use the trip to promote a boycott of Israel. Deri "expressed hope that she would keep her commitment and that the visit would truly be solely for humanitarian purposes," the New York Times reported.

Tlaib responded to the news that she could visit Israel for "humanitarian reasons" by criticizing Israel on Twitter, saying, "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."