Rashida Tlaib Refuses Israel’s Offer To Allow Family Visit On Condition Of Silence

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When Donald Trump threw his weight around and baited Israel into banning two members of Congress – Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), he caused a firestorm of controversy. Rep. Tlaib is not taking it lying down.

Israel took the bait, refusing to allow the two congresswomen who have been critical of Israel’s policies against Palestinians, to enter the country on a humanitarian trip. Tlaib pushed back, saying that she had planned to visit her family, including her 85-year-old grandmother, while on the trip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a written request to allow her to come and see her grandmother, but with conditions.

Among other stipulations, Tlaib would be allowed a family visit but would not be allowed to speak out against the oppressive conditions her grandmother and the rest of her family live in. She would not be allowed to do any activist work or criticize Israel in any way. Tlaib and her family decided that the conditions were unacceptable.

Tlaib’s uncle said in a statement that:

‘We are proud of Rashida, as the first Arab, Muslim, Palestinian woman to reach Congress. As her family, and the families of the village, we are planning on holding a ceremony in her honour…Rashida’s presence in one of the most anti-Palestinian US governments has given us hope that she may be able to [apply] pressure in favour of Palestinian rights, and to end such policies.’

When her visit constrains her voice, disallowing her to fight for change or help her family in need, she and her family chose to stick to their principles rather than take the crumbs offered.

Twitter was full of both criticism and support for Tlaib and her family, with Trump supporters who’ve never been to Palestine calling the move a “political stunt” and Palestinians offering their support, pride, and encouragement. Read some of their comments below:

Featured image screenshot via YouTube