Back in the United States, Congressmembers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are set to hold a news conference today to address the travel restrictions imposed on them by the Israeli government. Last week, Israel barred the two from entering Israel to travel to occupied Palestine, after President Trump took the unprecedented step of publicly urging Israel to deny entry to the first two female Muslim members of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for their “weakness” after the move.
In a statement, Omar called Netanyahu’s decision an “affront,” while Tlaib justified her decision not to make the trip, after she was granted a waiver to visit her grandmother on humanitarian grounds, by tweeting a quote from anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu: “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.”
Meanwhile, Tlaib’s grandmother has spoken out since the news was announced.
Muftia Tlaib: “May God ruin him. I was happy she was coming. I was excited that she was coming, for her grandmother to see her.’’
The hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty — meaning “my Palestinian Grandma” — trended on social media over the weekend as users posted tributes to their grandmothers in Palestine in solidarity with Congressmember Tlaib.