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Trump tweets about Rashida Tlaib’s decision to not travel to Israel



President Donald Trump sent a series of tweets on Friday night aimed at Rep. Rashida Tlaib and her decision to not travel to Israel to visit her grandmother in the West Bank under what she called “oppressive conditions,” after she had initially been banned from visiting the country.

“Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her ‘grandmother,'” Trump tweeted. “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’s tweets were yet another chapter in the days-long international kerfuffle over whether two Democratic congresswomen, Reps. Tlaib, of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, would be allowed to visit Israel. Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women to be elected to the US Congress.

Trump tweeted early on Thursday, urging Israel to bar the two congresswomen from visiting, saying, “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit.”

Israel did, in fact, bar the two from traveling to to the country, due to their support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions or BDS movement, a movement that aims at putting economic pressure on Israel over the conditions of the Palestinians. (In 2017, Israel passed a law restricting the travel of some foreign BDS proponents.)

The unprecedented move by Israel, to essentially punish Trump’s political foes, was widely criticized, even by the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Read more: Rashida Tlaib says she won’t accept Israel’s offer to allow her to visit her grandmother in the West Bank ‘under these oppressive conditions’

Tlaib, a Detroit native whose family is from Palestine, had written a letter to the Israeli government asking to be allowed in to visit her grandmother who is in her 90s and lives in the West Bank.

Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said on Friday morning that he would approve the trip on humanitarian grounds.

However, according to Tlaib the preconditions for visiting were “oppressive,” and she decided to turn down the opportunity to visit.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter, referencing her grandmother. “It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

Trump has made four freshman congresswoman, including Tlaib and Omar, along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, his 2020 cmapaign boogymen in speeches and on Twitter. He has repeatedly sought to equate their criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Omar has been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes in several tweets, but has apologized. Overall, their criticism of Israel has been mainly over policy and the treatment of Palestinians.

Read more: Trump has picked his 2020 Democratic opponent, and it’s ‘the Squad’

“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,” Trump tweeted. “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”

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