Israel lets Tlaib visit West Bank after blocking official visit

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to a question from a constituent in Wixom, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Friday he had granted a request by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) to visit the Israeli-occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds after she asked for permission to visit her 90-year-old grandmother and vowed to “not promote boycotts” of Israel during the trip.

The reversal came after a Thursday decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to deny entry to Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), citing their support for boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

The rejection of the two U.S. lawmakers, both Muslim, came after President Trump tweeted that allowing them to come would “show great weakness.” Democrats condemned the effort to block the lawmakers’ weekend trip, as did the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.

Of course Tlaib’s visit to her grandmother proofed to be less important than the political spectacle it created and she decided to not to continue on.

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