Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib used her failed trip to Israel for fundraising purposes Sunday, alleging in an email Democracy for America sent that she was “banned from traveling to Israel and Palestine.”
Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar were denied entry into Israel because of their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Tlaib later requested permission to visit her grandmother in Israel and was granted permission. She rejected the invitation hours later because of “oppressive conditions.”
Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee, asked readers to “chip in whatever you can to stand with her [Tlaib] and Ilhan now as they continue to fight for justice for all,” the Washington Free Beacon reported. The email included a statement from Tlaib where she alleged that the two congresswomen “were banned from traveling to Israel and Palestine,” despite Tlaib being offered a humanitarian visa.
The fundraising email also hit back at both President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump tweeted that Israel “would show great weakness” on Aug. 15 following reports that Tlaib and Omar were going to visit the country. Israel banned the Democratic lawmakers from visiting later that day, and Netanyahu released a statement backing up the decision.
“It’s very telling when a so-called democratic ally bans elected members of Congress from visiting because of our political views and values,” Tlaib wrote according to the Free Beacon. “It’s even more disturbing and completely unprecedented that our own president encouraged this undemocratic action. What is Netanyahu afraid that we will witness, that we will bring to light?”
“Not only am I heartbroken that I cannot meet the people of Israel and Palestine to witness their struggles firsthand, but I am heartbroken I can no longer visit my Palestinian grandmother,” she added.
Tlaib said she was granted entry into Israel and denied the invitation because her grandmother wouldn’t want her to visit “under such degrading circumstances,” the Free Beacon reported.
“The Israeli government ultimately decided they would let me visit, but under one condition: that I sign a letter restricting my freedom of speech in order to stop me from speaking out against the inhumane conditions Palestinians like my grandmother are forced to face by the Israeli military occupation,” Tlaib wrote.
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