Tlaib Cancels Israel Visit, Doesn’t Want Family To Be ‘Political Bargaining Chip’

US Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, questions US Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July ... US Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, questions US Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 18, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 16, 2019 10:22 a.m.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has opted to not visit her grandmother in Israel despite finally getting permission from the Israeli government to do so.

In a series of tweets and an official statement posted Friday, Tlaib said her grandmother wouldn’t want her to visit under such “oppressive conditions” and she didn’t want her love for her grandmother to be co-opted as a “political bargaining chip” for the Israeli government.

“The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter — reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the state of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support,” she said in the statement.

After the Israeli government announced it would bar Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from entering Israel during an upcoming trip — because of their vocal support for the BDS movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) — Tlaib made a special humanitarian request to be allowed entry to visit her elderly grandmother. After the government announced it would allow her entry — but only for a strict “humanitarian” purpose — Tlaib announced she wouldn’t go.

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