By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute—
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib is apparently upset because she was not able to agitate against Israel during a proposed visit to her grandmother there.
“I would like to request admittance to Israel,” she had written, “in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit. Thank you, Rashida Tlaib.”
When her letter was leaked to the media, however, Tlaib quickly backtracked:
“Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart.”
Her trip was to have been co-sponsored by Miftah, a not-for-profit organization founded by Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Miftah promotes destroying Israel through economic strangulation, such as boycotts, has referred to a suicide bombing as “Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause,” and has promoted the medieval blood libel that Jews kill Christian children to use their blood to bake matzoh. The itinerary Miftah had planned included “no meetings planned with Israeli officials of any political persuasion, including Arab lawmakers.” As the journalist Charles Sykes noted, “Praising suicide bombers and pushing blood libel is not ‘criticizing Israeli policy.'”
Tlaib’s retraction came after many Palestinians had criticized her for requesting permission from Israel and for “complying with Israeli pre-conditions.”
Tlaib and her colleague, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, have since been attacking Israel for banning them from entering the country simply because of their anti-Israel activities.
While Tlaib is using the controversy surrounding her visit as an excuse to launch scathing attacks on Israel, Palestinians seem to be more worried about failed leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This concern is not something that Tlaib seems to share with Palestinians because for her the only wrong-doing is coming from Israel.
Palestinians are more worried about the continued power struggle between their Fatah and Hamas leaders than Tlaib’s grievances over not seeing her grandmother. The Fatah-Hamas dispute, which has resulted in the creation of two separate Palestinian entities — in the West Bank and Gaza Strip — is seen by many Palestinians as proof of their leaders’ incompetence and failure to improve living conditions in the two areas.
As everyone was talking about the cancellation of Tlaib’s trip, the leaders of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas were still busy fighting each other. The latest controversy between the two parties erupted over visits by non-Palestinian Arabs and Muslims to Jerusalem, particularly the holy sites in the city. Continue Reading….