Rashida Tlaib’s Grandmother Speaks for Us All

Photo: Paul Sancya (AP)

It wasn’t enough for Donald Trump to call his friend in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and urge him to block two sitting U.S. congresswomen from visiting that country. Always the narcissistic bully, Trump also felt compelled to pile on more with insults on social media afterward.

For Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the last couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster. First, Israel—prompted by Trump—banned the two from entering the country during an upcoming trip.

Then, Israel said it would allow Tlaib to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the occupied West Bank, but she would have to pledge not to express support during the trip for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that she has supported in the past. Tlaib ultimately did not accept the deal, and in doing so, she must have realized that she may never get the opportunity to see her aging grandmother again.

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“The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter – reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support,” Tlaib said in a statement.

“I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart,” she added.

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Late Friday afternoon, Trump further insulted the family (emphasis below is mine).

“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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What. A. Complete. Asshole.

Tlaib’s grandmother, Muftia Tlaib, had a response for the U.S. president: “May God ruin him,” she said while sitting under an olive tree in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa, according to Reuters.

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Rashida’s uncle Bassam Tlaib also offered a poignant observation, saying, “Trump has told Rashida and Ilhan to go back to their home countries. What a contradiction, yesterday he asked them to leave and today he asks that they aren’t let in.”

Sounds about right. Also, #BeBest! 

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