'I Should Be on a Plane To See Her': Tlaib Weeps Over Not Seeing Grandmother, Despite Israel Approving Visit


After Rep. Rashida Tlaib snubbed Israel’s humanitarian offer for her to travel to Israel’s West Bank to visit her elderly grandmother, the Michigan Democrat cried that she “should be on a plane to see her.”

“Thank you for not politicizing what’s happened to me, because I’m still a granddaughter,” Tlaib told supporters in Detroit Friday. “More than anything, I’m a granddaughter. I’m also proud of my Palestinian roots. And I’m also strong because I grew up in the most beautiful, blackest city in the country, in the city of Detroit.”

Through tears, she added, “I really truly want to thank you so that I’m not home right now thinking about where I’m not at. I’m here with my family.”

Despite her tears, Tlaib had the opportunity to visit her grandmother if she really wanted to.

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The freshman congresswoman had been denied entry from Israel this week alongside Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar — a result of their support for the radically anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and frequent anti-Israel rhetoric.

Tlaib, whose parents emigrated to the United States, is a Palestinian-American, and she requested permission to visit her relatives back in Israel.

“I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa,” Tlaib said in a letter to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, according to The Guardian.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”

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On Friday, Israel approved the visit on “humanitarian” grounds.

“Congresswoman Tlaib has sent tonight a letter to Minister Deri in which she committed to 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,” Interior Minister Deri said in announcing his approval, according to CNN.

It quickly became clear that Tlaib changed her mind when she tweeted that visiting under “oppressive conditions” “would kill a piece of me.”

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“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Tlaib wrote. “I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

According to Tlaib, part of her congressional victory was for the “Palestinian people,” to give them “hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions” they face living in a Jewish state.

“I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my [grandmother] to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies,” she wrote hours earlier.

Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri pointed out Tlaib’s hypocrisy in a series of Friday morning tweets.

“Rep. Tlaib just tweeted that she won’t be coming to Israel,” Deri tweeted. “Just yesterday she sent me a letter, asking to visit her 90-year-old grandmother saying, ‘it might be my last chance to meet her.’

“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,” Deri added. “Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith