Israel allows Palestinian-American Congresswoman Tlaib entry to see ailing grandmother if she suspends promoting BDS

Israel allows Palestinian-American Congresswoman Tlaib entry to see ailing grandmother if she suspends promoting BDS

Israel has confirmed it will allow Rashida Tlaib to visit her Palestinian family on humanitarian grounds, as the Congresswoman vows to refrain from boycott activity while in the territories.
2 min read
16 August, 2019
Tlaib has always been proud of her Palestinian roots [Getty]
Israel have confirmed it will allow US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib entry to the country for a "humanitarian" visit, the Congresswoman penned a letter to Israel’s interior minister pledging to refrain from promoting boycotts against Israel during her trip.

In the letter to Minister Aryeh Deri, Tlaib also requested permission to visit her 90-year-old grandmother.

According to US diplomatic sources, Tlaib’s office made contact with Israel’s interior ministry, who confirmed on Friday they will grant her permission to enter the country.

The Hebrew-language Channel 12 reported that she would be allowed to visit alone

The Congresswoman subsequently signed the letter vowing to refrain from BDS activity, the sources said.

The Palestinian-American, who was planning to lead a “fact-finding” mission to the West Bank for a congressional delegation beginning Friday, was told on Thursday she and fellow Muslim Representative Ilhan Omar were barred from entry after having publicly supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The decision provoked widespread condemnation from the Democratic party, human rights groups, and even AIPAC, the American pro-Israel lobby.

Addressing Minister Deri, who made the decision not to admit the pair, Tlaib requested to be able to visit in particular her grandmother, “who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa,” she wrote.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” she added.

Beit Ur al-Fouqa is a Palestinian village located east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Tlaib added she would “respect any restrictions” and vowed to “not promote boycotts against Israel” during her trip.

Israel passed the so-called “BDS law” in 2017, which bars entry to visitors who have shown support for boycotts against Israel. 

Tlaib tweeted on Thursday Israel’s decision to ban her was a “sign of weakness” and showed that “the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening".

Tlaib last year announced she would spearhead the delegation to the occupied West Bank, hoping to counterbalance an existing annual trip for Congress members organised by the prominent pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. 

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