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US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib refuses Israel's offer to visit on 'humanitarian grounds'

19 August 2019

"Let's be clear: the goal of our trip was to witness firsthand what is happening on the ground in Palestine and hear from stakeholders -our job as Members of Congress".

The initial ban sparked an outcry among Democrats in the U.S. Congress, who have largely been strong supporters of Israel, raising concerns about straining the two nations' relationship as Netanyahu aligns himself ever more closely with Trump.

The Palestinian groups that were part of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) canceled trip to Israel and the West Bank have a public record of openly expressing anti-Semitism, supporting the BDS movement, as well as fostering sympathy of and links to terrorist groups.

After she was banned, Tlaib posted a photo on Twitter of her grandmother and said Israel's decision was "a sign of weakness [because] the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening".

Israel controls entry and exit to the West Bank, which it seized in the 1967 Middle East war along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories the Palestinians want for a future state.

"There's lots of Jews who do not agree with the actions of the State of Israel, who not do feel represented by Israel and resist the attempts to conflate the State of Israel with their Judaism".

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On Thursday night, in the midst of the controversy over the barring of Omar and Tlaib, Trump continued his fascistic demagogy at a campaign-style rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

"I'm still a granddaughter".

He said the American lawmaker texted him on Friday, saying, "I am not coming under these conditions". Israeli's interior minister, Arye Deri, approved the request on Friday, but Tlaib said she'd changed her mind.

Israel's Interior Ministry said it had received a letter from Tlaib on Thursday seeking permission to visit her family in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa, and it granted her request.

He mockingly said in a subsequent tweet, "The only real victor here is Tlaib's grandmother".

"That this could happen to her, to keep her from her grandmother as a citizen is reprehensible". "My uncle, everybody was like, 'You are a USA congresswoman, we wanted to celebrate you. Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother".

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This is nonsense. Even if Tlaib were to see happiness and peace in Israel, she likely would still find a problem with the Israeli "occupation". "Why didn't she ask her grandmother for her opinion about the Israeli preconditions?" asked one Palestinian on Facebook.

Israel met with strong criticism on 15 August for banning elected United States politician Rashida Tlaib - the first ever Palestinian-American congresswoman - from visiting occupied Palestine.

She added that she would not allow her love for her grandmother to be used as leverage to make her submit to Israel's "oppressive and racist policies".

Two Palestinian youths stabbed an Israeli policeman in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday and were shot by officers, killing one of them. She issued a statement that said, in part, "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in-fighting against racism, oppression & injustice". "No matter what label they use, a vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream".

"I am proud of her".

Trump denied pressuring Israel to implement the ban and Dermer said in a call with Jewish groups on Thursday that the move had nothing to do with the U.S. president.

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US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib refuses Israel's offer to visit on 'humanitarian grounds'