[guest post by Dana]
Yesterday, in his statement regarding the decision to deny Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib entry into Israel due to their advocacy for the Boycott, Sanction and Divestment (BDS) movement, Benjamin Netanyahu specifically addressed Rep. Tlaib, whose has relatives living in the West Bank:
[I]f Congresswoman Tlaib submits a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the minister of interior has announced that he will consider her request on the condition that she pledges not to act to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit.
After Israel’s decision was announced, Tlaib tweeted:
This was followed by a formal request asking permission to enter the country to visit her relatives. Here is a copy of Rep. Tlaib’s letter, in which she promises:
I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.
Israel has now granted approval for Rep. Tlaib to make the trip on humanitarian grounds:
Israel has granted permission for Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, to visit her grandmother in the West Bank.
“Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided on Friday to approve the entry of US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for a humanitarian visit of her 90-year-old grandmother,” the interior ministry said in a statement Friday.
The interior ministry said early Friday that Tlaib had sent a letter asking to be granted access in which she promised to not promote boycotts against Israel and to respect the restrictions imposed on her during her visit.Her request was granted and the interior ministry “expressed hope that she would honor her commitment.”
However, not everyone is happy about the conditions of Rep. Tlaib’s visit, nor the outcome of the congresswomen’s efforts to visit Israel:
A senior Palestinian official distanced herself from a West Bank visit by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib who has been allowed entry to the Israeli-occupied territory on “humanitarian grounds.”
The official, Hanan Ashrawi, was to have hosted Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, on a West Bank tour. Tlaib and Omar are sharply critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
Ashrawi said Friday that she does not get involved in personal visits and that the congressional visit is off until all participants “can have free access to Palestine.”
About the congresswomen’s planned visit to Israel, Netanyahu reminded us yesterday: “…the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel.”
UPDATE: Politics over family: Rep. Tlaib has called off her trip:
Apparently, being “treated like a criminal” is getting a necessary assurance from a sitting U.S. congresswoman that she will not break Israel’s laws while in the country, and being “silenced” refers to not being allowed to attack Israel by promoting a boycott of the country she hates (IOW, breaking the law). And this is what she considers reason enough to not visit her aged grandmother, whom she told us just yesterday in her formal request that, this could be her last opportunity to see her. Sorry, Grandma, politics…
UPDATE 2: From the Israeli interior minister, via Jake Sherman:
I authorized this humanitarian trip, but it turns out that it was a provocation to embarrass Israel. Her hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother.
UPDATE 3: Because you knew he would have to insert himself into this again:
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)