US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has said she will no longer visit the occupied West Bank under the oppressive conditions required by the Israeli government, who hours earlier said they would allow her entry on humanitarian grounds.
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian origin, tweeted her decision on Friday, a day after the Israeli government barred her and her fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering over their support of a boycott movement seeking to pressure Israel to end its rights abuses against Palestinians.
Under a controversial Israeli law, backers of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement can be denied entry to Israel.
Following the move to bar the two Muslim congresswomen, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said he had decided to allow Tlaib to make a humanitarian visit to her grandmother in the West Bank, but only after the legislator had sent him a written pledge to respect conditions imposed by Israel.
Tlaib had promised not to promote the cause of the boycott of Israel during her stay, in the letter to Deri sent overnight, the ministry said in a statement.
But in the tweet on Friday, Tlaib said her grandmother would not want her to visit under those conditions.
Silencing me and 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 and injustice.
She also tweeted:
When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me and use my love for my sity [grandma] to bow down to their oppressive and racist policies.
The US-born Tlaib, 43, has roots in the Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa in the occupied West Bank. Her grandmother and extended family still live in the village.
Israel’s widely condemned decision to bar the legislators’ trip came after US President Donald Trump, a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attacked Tlaib and Omar, alleging that they hate Israel and all Jewish people, and there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.
It would show great weakness for Israel to allow them in, he wrote on Twitter.
Tlaib and Omar have repeatedly said their criticisms of Israel’s government are based on policy differences and are not directed at Jewish people.
Source: Palestine Chronicle