Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) rejected Israel’s offer to grant her own request for “admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother who is in her 90s.” It’s been years since Rep. Tlaib last visited her grandmother. Tlaib, pleading for compassion, claimed this “could be my last opportunity to see her.” In return, Tlaib promised she would “respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.” This promise was significant because the Israeli government’s humanitarian gesture followed its original decision not to allow Tlaib and her “squad” comrade Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) entry due to their vociferous advocacy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). BDS goes beyond spreading anti-Semitic hate speech to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel, which is bad enough.
The BDS movement and its supporters are conducting economic warfare against Israeli Jews through a pressure campaign geared at intimidating anyone considering doing business with Israeli Jews. This pressure campaign facilitates discrimination based on religion and national origin, a violation of international human rights law. Thus, under Israeli law, supporters of BDS such as Tlaib and Omar can be prevented from entering the country. Nevertheless, the Israeli government was prepared to admit Rashida Tlaib for humanitarian reasons on the strength of her word to respect Israeli law. Tlaib’s quick turnabout on visiting her grandmother shows how her plea for permission to visit her grandmother was nothing more than a propaganda ploy.
Tlaib probably thought that Israel would not grant her request to visit her grandmother because of its distrust of her intentions. If Tlaib had turned out to be right, she and her fellow Israel-hating friends could then have used the denial of permission to portray Israel as an inhumane and oppressive state that deserves BDS-style isolation. Indeed, following the Israeli government’s original announcement that Tlaib and Omar would not be allowed to enter the country, Tlaib used her grandmother as a prop in a photo accompanying this tweet: “This woman right here is my sity. She deserves to live in peace & with human dignity. I am who I am because of her. The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness b/c the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening.”
Too bad for Tlaib that Israel did not take her bait. Israel was willing to accept Tlaib’s word that she would not promote boycotts against Israel during her visit with her grandmother. Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, the government official who had approved Tlaib’s request, expressed hope that “she would keep her commitment and that the visit would truly be solely for humanitarian purposes.” But Tlaib had no intention of honoring her commitment. In response to the granting of her request to visit her grandmother, 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.”
After denouncing President Trump, Tlaib’s grandmother plaintively told journalists…, “My heart tells me that she will come.” But President Trump was not responsible for granddaughter Rashida Tlaib’s change of heart. It was Tlaib herself who threw her grandmother under the bus rather than take a break in her advocacy of the BDS movement for just a few days. As Interior Minister Deri tweeted, "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 hatred of Israel is greater than her love for her grandmother."
Congresswoman Tlaib’s elderly grandmother, who told NBC News [8/17/19] that "I can’t do anything. I’m really very sad. I hope, inshallah, that she will come back. I’m waiting for her." Rashida Tlaib made the inhumane decision to put the BDS movement before visiting her grandmother. In granddaughter Tlaib’s own words, the visit Israel approved could be "my last opportunity to see her.” As a result of granddaughter Rashida Tlaib's perverse priorities, her grandmother will be likely waiting in vain for her.