Friday, 18 October, 2019

Rashida Tlaib addresses supporters; grandmother reacts angrily to Trump tweets

Bill Maher calls movement to boycott Israel 'a bulls--- purity test' Tlaib won't visit West Bank under 'oppressive' Israeli conditions
Patty Aguilar | 18 August, 2019, 04:44

"Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming", she said.

The prospects of resolving the conflict under the "two-state solution" that had guided peacemaking efforts for years have dimmed significantly since Trump took office, while Israeli settlements on land Palestinians seek for a state have expanded.

Despite the disappointment over having to forgo meetings, meals and ceremonies in Tlaib's honor, other Palestinians NBC News spoke to said they backed her decision, saying they'd prefer she visited as a US representative than as an ordinary citizen on a family trip.

On Thursday, bowing to pressure from Trump, Israel barred a visit by Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar that it had initially said it would allow. "Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup", Trump tweeted.

After her humanitarian request was granted, Tlaib announced that she would not be traveling to Israel, and thereby abstain from seeing her grandmother, due to the country's "oppressive [and] racist policies". "She doesn't have to see her now!"

Still, the grandmother is hopeful: "My heart tells me that she will come". In a letter sent to Israel's Interior Minister Ayre Deri, the MI congresswoman expressed the importance of visiting her aging grandmother and vowed not to promote any boycotts against the Jewish state during her trip.

When Tlaib turned down Israel's offer to let her visit the West Bank only under certain restrictions, Trump commented that "the only real victor here is Tlaib's grandmother".

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Both sides had raised expectations of being close to finalizing an agreement prior to convening the latest round of talks. A White House official cautioned that the meeting might not immediately result in a decision or announcement.

The two Muslim lawmakers support a Palestinian-led boycott of Israel, and barring their entry was an escalation of Netanyahu's attempts to quash the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Three of the four were born in the US; all are American citizens, as required to serve in Congress. Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.

Omar contradicted the prime minister on Friday, saying she had planned to sit with Knesset members and security officials.

Tlaib did not describe the conditions imposed on her visit.

People hold signs in support of US Democratic Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district Rashida Tlaib during "Shabbat in the Park With Rashida" on August 16, 2019 in Pallister Park in Detroit, Michigan. Tlaib had been heavily criticized by Palestinian groups for initially agreeing to Israel's terms for a family visit.

"Israel on Friday reversed its decision and said it would let Tlaib visit her family on humanitarian grounds - but Tlaib rejected the offer, saying that Israel had imposed" oppressive conditions" created to humiliate her.

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