‘Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) On Thursday, Israel banned Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from entering the West Bank, but Israel’s interior minister said Friday that Tlaib could visit for a “humanitarian” trip to see her grandmother, as Netanyahu offered.
Tlaib rejected the gesture on Friday morning.
“I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,” Tlaib said in a series of tweets.
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Tlaib could not come to the West Bank, the Muslim congresswoman wrote a letter to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, in which she pleaded to see her aging grandmother and agreed to stipulations, USA Today reported.
“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” Tlaib said about her 90-year-old grandmother. “I will respect any restrictions and I will not promote any boycotts against Israel during my visit.”
Israel initially denied Omar and Tlaib because they promote the “pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” Fox News reported.
Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted about the congresswomen’s planned visit.
Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) August 15, 2019
Netanyahu blocked Omar and Tlaib’s visit on the basis of a 2017 law that “prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel.
The prime minister announced the decision to block them just hours after Trump tweeted that Israel allowing them would show “great weakness,” since they “hate Israel & all Jewish people.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, responded to the decision soon after, stating that Israel would show “weakness” by preventing Omar and Tlaib’s entry.
“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” Pelosi said. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”
© Agence France-Presse contributed to this article.