On 15 August, Israel banned Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, two US congresswomen, from visiting the West Bank and Jerusalem over their professed support for boycotting Israel. Tlaib filed a request to be allowed to visit her grandmother on humanitarian grounds, and subsequently received permission, yet demonstratively rejected the offer to go.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib “proved her real intentions”, when she rejected Israel’s offer to visit her grandmother, Israeli politician Nir Barkat said on Friday afternoon, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Barkat tweeted to Tlaib that she intended “to use your 90-year-old grandmother to wage political war calling for Israel’s destruction and boycott”.
The Likud MK, a candidate for the cabinet seat vacant since Social Services Minister Haim Katz resigned, urged the US congresswoman to “take your hatred, fanaticism and bigotry to places like Iran and Syria, which you so admire. We have no interest in welcoming terrorist supporters here”.
Barkat also wrote Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar on Twitter on Thursday that their views do not belong in Israel.
Social media users shared their reaction to the Israeli politician’s outburst targeting Rashida Tlalib, with some voicing their agreement with the “go to Iran or Syria” comment.
Others condemned the US congresswoman’s actions:
Still other Twitter users found the Israeli side to be in the wrong:
The Israeli politician’s statements were made after US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib revised plans of going to the West Bank to visit her grandmother, despite being granted permission by Israel, citing “humiliating” terms under which permission had been granted.
Taking to Twitter, Tlaib posted a photo of her grandmother and said she would not “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies”.
Israel was quick to respond to the congresswoman’s sudden rejection of the trip, with Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri branding her actions a “provocation”.