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Feminist icon Gloria Steinem slams 'bully' Netanyahu for barring US congresswomen Omar, Tlaib Open in fullscreen

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Feminist icon Gloria Steinem slams 'bully' Netanyahu for barring US congresswomen Omar, Tlaib

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem called Israel's prime minister a 'bully' [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2019

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Gloria Steinem said Netanyahu's decision to bar a visit by two Democratic congresswomen was 'a welcome sign that I never have to enter any country or place under your authority'.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem called Israel's prime minister a "bully" and said she won't visit as long as he remains the country's leader.

In a statement posted online on Saturday, she said Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to bar a visit by two Democratic congresswomen was "a welcome sign that I never have to enter any country or place under your authority".

At the urging of President Donald Trump, Israel denied entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar last week over their support for the Palestinian-led boycott movement.

The two are outspoken critics of Trump and of Israel's military occupation of the Palestinians.

They were subjected to a series of racist tweets from Trump last month, in which he told them to "go back" to their "broken" countries. Both are US citizens.

"I know that Donald Trump, the accidental occupant of the White House, is drawn to successful bullies," Steinem wrote, addressing Netanyahu.

"If you and Trump continue to imitate each other, you will eventually be alone together at the table. I could wish both of you no greater punishment than that."

Alongside fellow Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Tlaib was abruptly banned earlier this week from entering Israel to lead a scheduled congressional delegation through the occupied West Bank.

After submitting a special humanitarian request to be allowed to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in Beit Ur al-Fouqa, a village near Ramallah, Israel U-turned and said Tlaib would be allowed to enter as long as she did not promote any boycott of Israel.

The Palestinian-American lawmaker later said she would not be visiting her grandmother, decrying the "oppressive conditions" placed on the visit.

Tlaib tweeted that she could not allow Israel to "use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies".

"Sitty", spelled different ways in English, is an Arabic term of endearment for one's grandmother.

Online supporters have rallied under the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty, posting pictures of their grandmothers and descriptions of their struggles under Israeli occupation.

Many were said to have lived through what the Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba", or "Catastrophe", when hundreds of thousands fled or were forced from their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

"#MyPalestinianSitty is trending and I am overcome with emotions realizing how we are finally humanizing one of the world's most dehumanized peoples," Omar tweeted.

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