Tlaib Won't Go to Israel After All: 'It Would Kill a Piece of Me'

By Susan Jones | August 16, 2019 | 9:42am EDT
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Correction: Tlaib represents Michigan, not Minnesota.)

( - Never mind. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) says she will not go to Israel to visit her ailing grandmother, even though Israel's interior ministry said it would allow her to visit on humanitarian grounds.

Tlaib tweeted her change of heart Friday morning:

"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."

"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."

On Friday, Israel's Interior Minister Arye Deri approved Rep. Rashida Tlaib's request to visit her grandmother in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds.

He relented after Tlaib wrote to him: "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 to the Interior minister in a letter dated August 15. Tlaib said it might be her last opportunity to see her grandmother.

"I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit," she promised. Press reports said Tlaib was expected to visit her grandmother and other Palestinian relatives between August 18 and August 24.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Tlaib's fellow congresswoman and friend, was denied admission to Israel and that decision was not reversed.

As reported, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday the itinerary provided by the two Democrats showed the purpose of their visit was to work against Israel's interests.

Both women support the "Boycott, Divest and Sanction" or BDS movement, and Netanyahu tweeted that "Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country.”


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