Interior Minister Deri approves Rashida Tlaib’s request to enter Israel

"I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa," the Congresswoman wrote.

By OMRI NAHMIAS,
August 16, 2019 14:01
2 minute read.
Letter by Rashida Tlaib about permission for humanitarian visit to Israel

Letter by Rashida Tlaib about permission for humanitarian visit to Israel. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Interior Minister Arye Deri approved on Friday the request by US Rep. Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel to visit her relatives.

The ministry issued a statement saying that Deri hopes Tlaib would honor her obligation not to promot boycott activity while on her trip, and that the visit would be of a humanitarian nature.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, whose ministry is responsible for combating BDS, supported Deri's decision.

A few hours earlier, Tlaib sent Deri a request to be admitted to the country on humanitarian grounds.

"I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa," Tlaib wrote in the letter, which became public on Friday morning.

"This could be my last opportunity to see her," the Congresswoman added. "I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit."

On Thursday, Israel announced that Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar would not be allowed to enter Israel. The government made it clear that it would consider a humanitarian request from Tlaib, but would not accept an Omar-Tlaib delegation.


According to a report on Channel 12, the terms for allowing Tlaib’s trip were that she would visit by herself, without Omar. She reportedly is expected to visit her family between August 18 and August 24.

“The decision to prevent the admittance of the congresswomen [Tlaib and Omar] was just and proper, after it clearly emerged from their planned schedule that the purpose of the visit prepared for them was to continue supporting and promoting the boycott of Israel,” Erdan wrote on Twitter, after Tlaib's message to Deri became public.

“Congresswoman Tlaib's request to visit her grandmother must be approved. Mainly in light of her commitment to respect Israeli law and not to promote boycotts against us,” he added.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its government for how the issue was handled.

Gantz called their behavior a “zigzag” and emphasized that despite the Congresswomen’s anti-Israel position, barring them from entering was inappropriately motivated by electoral considerations and against the national interest.

The opposition leader expressed his support for the decision to allow Tlaib in, that he defined necessary in order “lower the flames of the fire in Israeli-US relations that Netanyahu sparked yesterday.”


Related Content

U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
August 20, 2019
Omar and Tlaib: Won't let Netanyahu, Trump hide cruel reality of occupation

By OMRI NAHMIAS

Cookie Settings