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Tlaib Says She Will Not Visit Grandmother in Israel After Being Treated ‘Like a Criminal’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) listens during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing in Washington, D.C., May 9, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Representative Rashida Tlaib said she will not visit Israel to visit her grandmother and other Palestinian relatives on the West Bank after being treated “like a criminal” by Israel, which announced Thursday that Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar would not be allowed into the country on a planned political visit.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” the Michigan Democrat said of her grandmother. “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.”

Israel’s interior minister Aryeh Deri announced Friday that the country would sanction Tlaib’s humanitarian request for a visit to her grandmother, who is 90, as long as the congresswoman pledges not to promote boycotts against Israel during such a visit.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit,” Tlaib said previously of a potential family visit.

Israel on Thursday said the Tlaib and Omar would be barred from entering the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the decision at length, citing the lawmakers’ support of the BDS movement as well as their decision not to request meetings with any Israeli officials and the fact that they listed their destination as “Palestine” rather than Israel.

A few hours earlier, President Trump had warned the Jewish state against admitting Omar and Tlaib into the country.

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” Trump wrote in a tweet, calling the congresswomen a “disgrace” and stating that, “They hate Israel & all Jewish people.”

“The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness b/c the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening,” Tlaib wrote Thursday on Twitter along with a photo of her grandmother.

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