The Palestinian grandmother of US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wished “ruin” on US President Donald Trump on Saturday after he mocked her relationship with her granddaughter on Twitter.
“Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming,” Muftia Tlaib told Reuters. “May God ruin him.”
The 90-year-old, who lives in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa near Ramallah, also reacted to the lawmaker’s canceled visit with disappointment and confusion.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her — five to six years. But sometimes I see her on TV and talk with her on the phone,” she told NBC News.
“Why didn’t they allow her to come here?” she said. “I can’t do anything. I’m really very sad. I hope, God willing, that she will come back. I’m waiting for her.”
‘May God ruin him.’ — This is how Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother responded after Trump suggested Israel ban the congresswoman (via NowThis)
פורסם על ידי NowThis Politics ב- יום שבת, 17 באוגוסט 2019
Tlaib had been granted permission to visit her grandmother on humanitarian grounds after she and Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday were barred from visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank in their capacity as US lawmakers because of their support for boycotting Israel. Tlaib changed her mind about the family trip hours after it was approved on Friday, citing its “humiliating” terms.
Trump on Friday weighed in on Israel’s decision to bar Tlaib and Omar, saying that Tlaib had “obnoxiously” turned down the chance to visit her grandmother.
“Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her ‘grandmother.’ As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup? Israel acted appropriately!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
In a subsequent tweet he said: “Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
Israel on Thursday barred Tlaib and Omar — the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress — after initially saying it would allow their visit.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, justifying the unprecedented decision to ban serving US legislators from Israel, said it was plain that Omar and Tlaib intended to use the visit to harm Israel. “Several days ago, we received [Omar and Tlaib’s] trip itinerary,” Netanyahu said in a statement, “which clarified that they planned a visit whose sole purpose was to support boycotts and deny Israel’s legitimacy. For example, they called their destination ‘Palestine’ and not ‘Israel,’ and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress before them, they did not seek any meeting with any Israeli official, whether government or opposition.”
Hebrew media reports claimed Netanyahu had been heavily pressured by Trump to block the two congresswomen. The announcement that Israel would not allow the pair in came shortly after Trump tweeted that the Jewish state would be showing weakness if it gave them permission to come.
Tlaib then submitted a letter requesting to be allowed in despite the ban, citing her elderly grandmother, and promised not to promote boycotting Israel during her visit. The request was approved by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.
The congresswoman backtracked hours later. Taking to Twitter, Tlaib posted a photo of her grandmother and said Israel’s agreement to allow her to visit only under certain terms was humiliating. She stated that she would not “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.” Tlaib had been heavily criticized by Palestinian groups for initially agreeing to Israel’s terms for a family visit.
Omar contradicted the prime minister on Friday, saying she had planned to sit with Knesset members and security officials.
The Israeli ban on the two congresswoman was criticized by centrist, left-wing and Arab Israeli lawmakers, and by many prominent US Democratic leaders, notably including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who led a group of Democratic Congressmen on a visit to Israel just days ago. The ban was also criticized by the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby group, and was not backed by the umbrella Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, even after the Conference hosted a call by Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer seeking to justify the decision.