Despite being officially banned from entering the country by the Israeli government, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) requested special permission to enter this weekend so she can visit her grandmother, according to a Haaretz reporter.
In a letter sent to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, Tlaib asked to for admittance to the country to visit her relatives, “specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s.”
“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” she wrote, adding that she would not “promote boycotts against Israel” during the visit.
According to multiple reports, the Israeli government granted the congresswoman’s special “humanitarian” request.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri reportedly said Friday that his office would approve the request and that he hoped Tlaib would use “the visit for humanitarian purposes only.”
Breaking: Israel’s interior minister just approved @RashidaTlaib’s petition to enter Israel 'on humanitarian grounds' to visit her Palestinian grandmother @ the West Bank. She had to promise not to promote #BDS during the visit https://t.co/e8K2ZgtOUQ pic.twitter.com/q9ULe25xX2
— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) August 16, 2019
The special request comes after the Israeli government announced Thursday that it would not allow Tlaib or her colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to enter the country because they’ve been public supporters of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement, designed to highlight the realities of Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. Tlaib is a Palestinian American and has relatives in Israel.
While the government officially cites their support for BDS as rationale for the blockade, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a particularly close relationship with President Trump. And the President has a particular vexation with Tlaib, Omar and two other congresswomen of color.
Trump reportedly privately lobbied Netanyahu to deny the two sitting congresswomen entry to the country and also waged a Twitter campaign on Thursday to encourage a ban. An Israeli official made the announcement on Thursday.