Friday, 22 November, 2019

Israel blocks visit from Democratic Congresswomen who are Trump targets

Rashida Tlaib cancels visit to see Palestinian grandma after Israel treats her ‘like a criminal Rep. Rashida Tlaib has gotten permission from the Israeli government to visit the West Bank but may not accept
Patty Aguilar | 17 August, 2019, 11:38

"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", Tlaib said in her statement.

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". The group wants to pressure Israel economically into withdrawing from the West Bank and has other goals.

In a reversal, Tlaib rejected the conditions laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the humanitarian visit, namely, that she not broadcast her support for boycotting Israel over its actions against Palestinians during her stay.

"Rep. Tlaib just tweeted that she won't be coming to Israel".

Rep. Rashida Tlaib's grandmother said she doesn't understand why her granddaughter was barred from entering Israel - and that she is proud of her pro-Palestinian stance.

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. In her letter, she promised to "respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit".

Deri then approved the request on early August 16, in a move backed up by the security minister, according to a statement obtained by the Jerusalem Post. Israel's decision sparked widespread criticism, including from Israeli and Jewish organizations who said it was an affront to US institutions to bar the entry of members of Congress, according to the Associated Press.

In her statement, Tlaib said she experienced "the same racist treatment that many Palestinian-Americans endure when encountering the Israeli government".

Tlaib tweeted that when she won her congressional race, she gave the Palestinian people hope that someone would speak the truth about their inhumane conditions.

"Silencing me [and] treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me", Tlaib said referring to her grandmother.

According to NGO Monitor, Miftah's publications use highly politicized language, accusing Israel of "massacres", "apartheid", "summary executions" of Palestinian youth and "Judaizing" Jerusalem. "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in - fighting against racism, oppression & injustice".

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"She's in a big position and she can not visit her grandmother".

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has shut the door on the possibility of an upcoming trip to Israel.

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. The president wrote that the pair "hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds". "Minnesota and MI will have a hard time putting them back in office".

"They are a disgrace", the president stated.

DCI-P has also been behind the anti-Israel legislation introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), which Omar and Tlaib are co-sponsors.

Meanwhile, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents over 1,000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, commended Israel's decision to refuse entry to the two congresswomen.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the move "deeply disappointing", and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who lobbied Israeli officials on Wednesday to allow the lawmakers to make a trip, called it "outrageous".

"She's trying to get and make it better in the neighborhoods and she's doing a great job", Hale said.

"Think about what's going on in our country right now", Rouda exclaimed. "Their hatred will not be cured by meetings with the Palestinian Authority, which generously supports those who murder Jews", he added.

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, told JNS the he views the Palestinian groups as more extreme than Omar and Tlaib.

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