September 18, 2019

In Tlaib’s Ancestral Village, a Grandmother Weathers a Global Political Storm

In Tlaib’s Ancestral Village, a Grandmother Weathers a Global Political Storm


“Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Ms. Tlaib said of “my sity,” using an Arabic term for grandmother. “It would kill a piece of me.”

On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that it “would show great weakness” for Israel to allow the planned West Bank visit of Ms. Tlaib, of Michigan, and Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Democrats. Hours later, the Israeli authorities, who control all access to the occupied territory, denied them entry, citing their vocal support for boycotts against Israel.

Late on Thursday, Ms. Tlaib appealed for an exception on humanitarian grounds, promising, in effect, to make the trip purely personal, not political.

After Mr. Deri consented on Friday morning, Mr. Tlaib and other family members here had misgivings about the visit because of the conditions imposed by Israel, though they said they would welcome the congresswoman under any circumstances.

“Rashida has the natural right to visit all of Palestine,” said Mr. Tlaib, the uncle. “In my personal opinion,” Mr. Tlaib said. “I say it is preferable not to come based on these conditions.”

The family sent her messages, but it was still early morning in the United States, and they did not immediately hear back from her. Then came the news that Ms. Tlaib had decided not to come.

Ms. Tlaib’s grandmother, apparently still unaware of the latest reversals, said she had originally planned to welcome her returning granddaughter by slaughtering a sheep for a traditional Palestinian feast. Asked where the sheep was on Friday, she laughed wryly, gestured out the window and said it was still with the flock.





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