US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, said today that she had decided to cancel her visit to her grandmother in the West Bank after Israel announced that it had granted her permission.
Tlaib tweeted, “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
“The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter — reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support,” she added.
“I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart. Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me — it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice.”
Earlier today, Israeli occupation authorities announced that they will allow Tlaib to visit her family in the occupied West Bank on “humanitarian” grounds, hours after the Israeli government said it would ban her from entering Palestine for a planned political trip.
Israel’s earlier decision to bar their entry was encouraged by President Donald Trump in a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents.