Rep. Rashida Tlaib Says She Won’t Go To Israel After Planned Visit Was Approved

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 16, 2019Politics
Rep. Rashida Tlaib Says She Won’t Go To Israel After Planned Visit Was Approved
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) testifies at a House hearing in front of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, in Washington on July 12, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said that she won’t visit her family in the West Bank despite Israel approving her humanitarian request to do so.

Israeli authorities said Aug. 16 that Tlaib could go to the West Bank to visit her 90-year-old grandmother and other relatives after Tlaib, whose family hails from the country, wrote them a letter making a humanitarian request.

In the letter, Tlaib, a supporter of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement, said she would “not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.” She made the request after Israel barred her and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from entering the country due to their support of the movement, which is considered anti-Israel and antisemitic.

But Tlaib said Friday that she decided not to go despite the approval.

“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 [grandmother] to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies,” Tlaib said in a statement posted 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,” she added.

In a fuller statement obtained by WXYZ, Tlaib said that “the Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter—reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support.”

“I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart. Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me – it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice,” she added.

NTD Photo
Muftia Tlaib, the maternal grandmother of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, is pictured outside her home in the village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa, in the West Bank on Aug. 15, 2019. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)
NTD Photo
The uncle of Rashida Tlaib, right, points to a picture of her in Beit Ur al Foqa in the West Bank on Nov. 8, 2018. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s not clear what caused Tlaib to change her mind between writing the letter and getting her planned visit approved.

American officials including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel have expressed support for Israel’s actions against Tlaib and Omar, the only two Muslims in Congress. Both have repeatedly denigrated Israel and made statements widely condemned as antisemitic, in addition to their support for the so-called BDS movement.

President Donald Trump, an avowed critic of both Congresswomen, took to Twitter to express his support on Thursday, writing:  “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.”

“Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!” he later added.

From The Epoch Times

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