Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) has declined an invitation to visit Israel, one day after President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked together to deny Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) entry into the country.
“I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in—fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,” Tlaib said in a tweet.
“We reject the decision of the Israeli occupation to ban the entry of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib,” Tlaib’s grandmother, Muftiya Tliab, and her uncle, Ghassan Tlaib, said. “This highlights how Israel antagonizes every individual or organization that support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and rejects every attempt at explaining the reality of the Palestinian life under occupation.”
“It should be her natural right,” the family’s statement continued, “not a favor to ask for, to visit her homeland and family.”
Tlaib has been outspoken in her criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the genocidal, sustained violence being inflicted upon the Palestinian people. She is also a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, the official authorized by law to make the decision to ban Omar and Tlaib, initially said that: “The State of Israel respects the American Congress in the framework of the close alliance between the two countries, but it is unthinkable that an entry to Israel would be allowed to those who seek to damage the State of Israel, even during a visit.”
Once his politically manipulative invitation was denied, he ran to Twitter to tag President Donald Trump, making his motivation for the invitation abundantly clear.
“I approved her request as a gesture of goodwill on a humanitarian basis, but it was just a provocative request, aimed at bashing the State of Israel. Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother,” Deri said the tweet.
In truth, Tliab is practicing love in its supreme form, declining to acquiesce to the demands of a genocidal government that is forcing her grandmother and her people to live in occupied territory.