Published: Sat, August 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: Israel tried to silence me with demands for trip

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: Israel tried to silence me with demands for trip

Israel's decision immediately drew widespread criticism from Democratic lawmakers and American-Jewish organizations, including the staunchly pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, with some saying it set a new precedent for U.S. -Israel relations.

On Friday Tlaib ramped up the heat, rejecting the Jewish state's compromise offer to allow her into the West Bank on a "humanitarian" visit to see her grandmother. "And I think she's making the right choice obviously", said Tlaib supporter Laura Tas. "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in-fighting against racism, oppression & injustice", she added.

Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib says she will not let down the Palestinian people by remaining silent about their condition on a visit to the West Bank.

Trump had made a post on Twitter on August 15 expressing support for Israel, saying that the country "would show great weakness" if it allowed the two congresswomen to visit.

Justifying the decision, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that, "Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress".

"There were demands of me that basically silence me", she said.

Tlaib said the conditions letter from Israel goes against her values.

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

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U.S. congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has said she will no longer visit the occupied West Bank under the "oppressive conditions" required by the Israeli government, who hours earlier said they would allow her entry on "humanitarian" grounds. Omar and Tlaib from entering the country due to their support of the BDS movement.

"As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel", Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday evening.

In a letter sent to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, Tlaib asked to for admittance to the country to visit her relatives, "specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s". "They are a disgrace!"

Tlaib's delegation was expected to focus in part on human rights issues in the Palestinian territories.

Following Israel's decision, Tlaib wrote to Deri, making a humanitarian request claiming that it could be her final opportunity to see her 90-year-old grandmother.

The official decision became public only hours after President Donald Trump fired a missive on Twitter prodding Netanyahu towards that outcome, saying allowing them to visit would "show weakness".

While most Democrats disagree with the views of Tlaib and Omar on Israel, Trump's repeated attacks have rallied support.

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