Rashida Tlaib Cancels Visit To West Bank, Citing Israeli Government's ‘Oppressive Conditions’

Israel initially would not allow her and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) entry, but later reversed its decision for Tlaib, who intended to visit her grandmother.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said Friday that she will not visit her grandmother in the West Bank, after the Israeli government reversed a prior decision barring her from the country. 

In a statement, she accused officials of “racist treatment” and of seeking to “silence” her voice. She said she won’t go to Israel “under these oppressive conditions.”

On Thursday, the Israeli government announced that it would not allow entry to Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) because they support the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The decision, seen as a capitulation to President Donald Trump’s frequent attacks against Tlaib and Omar, drew criticism from the Jewish community and U.S. lawmakers.

Tlaib, whose family is from Palestine, later wrote to Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, to say she’d like to visit her grandmother, who is in her 90s.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” Tlaib wrote in the letter.

Early Friday, Deri announced that Tlaib would be allowed to visit on humanitarian grounds, provided that she would “accept all the demands of Israel to respect the restrictions imposed on her in the visit, and she also promised not to advance boycotts against Israel during her visit.”

In response to her cancellation, Deri accused Tlaib of making “a provocative request.”

“I approved her request as a gesture of goodwill on a humanitarian basis, but it was just a provocative request, aimed at bashing the State of Israel,” he said in a statement. “Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother.”