Israel to allow entry to Rashida Tlaib for 'humanitarian' visit

Cheryl Sanders
August 19, 2019

Rashida Tlaib cancelled her trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories after Israel said it would allow her to visit her family on "humanitarian grounds" - a restriction the United States congresswoman said was "meant to humiliate" her.

On Friday, Israel chose to allow Ms Tlaib to visit her family in the Israel-occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds, but she rejected the offer.

Thursday night, Tlaib sent a letter to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri pleading to be given permission to visit her family on the West Bank.

"We reject the decision of the Israeli occupation to ban the entry of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib", Tlaib's grandmother, Muftiya Tliab, and her uncle, Ghassan Tlaib, said.

But in a statement released later on Friday, Tlaib said "visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart". "There will be a dark cloud over you if you come with them forcing you to bow down'".

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., told CNN that he feared "this decision probably helps the boycott of Israel movement more than the two congresswomen ever could".

While BDS has gathered some high-profile worldwide support, its comprehensive boycott tactics that include academic and cultural isolation have alienated some who support Palestinian rights but also want engagement with Israel and Israelis.

The President also tweeted: "Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her "grandmother". The only real victor here is Tlaib's grandmother. President Donald Trump had earlier tweeted, "It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit".

"She has the right to meet with whoever she wants", they noted.

Tlaib and Omar had planned to visit Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank next week on a tour organised by a Palestinian group.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have strongly backed U.S. aid to Israel, which totals $3.8 billion annually, but both called on Israel to reverse the ban on their fellow Democrats on Thursday.

"Like it or not, Tlaib and Omar are fast becoming the face of the Democrat Party". And within hours, Tlaib announced she would not be visiting her grandmother under Israel's "racist" terms.

According to him, Tlaib and Omar's trip to Israel and the disputed territories of the West Bank was nothing short of an "act of political warfare". "And this is a movement that the two legislators have at least tacitly if not overtly supported". Asked later if he had spoken to Netanyahu, he said, "I did talk to people over there", without elaborating.

The Trump administration, which is particularly close to the Netanyahu government, has touted its own peace plan but details remain vague. 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.

Other reports by iNewsToday