Rashida Tlaib's grandmother says she's 'proud' of the congresswoman
Muftiyah Tlaib, who lives in the family's village of Beit Ur Al-Foqa in the occupied West Bank, told the Washington Post: "Who wouldn't be proud of a granddaughter like that? I love her and am so proud of her."
She had initially criticised Tlaib's inability to freely visit despite being a US lawmaker.
"She's in a big position and she cannot visit her grandmother. So what good is the position?" she said.
On Thursday, Israel barred from entry the US Congress' first Muslim female lawmakers, Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, on the grounds that they support the boycott movement, and after President Donald Trump urged the Jewish state to block the two Democrats.
But it held out the carrot of allowing Tlaib to make a private visit to her elderly grandmother, if she agreed to abide by conditions including a pledge not to advocate boycotting Israel.
"This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit," she initially wrote.
On Friday, Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced that she would be permitted a "humanitarian visit", but a few hours later Tlaib announced a change of heart.
"I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in - fighting against racism, oppression & injustice," she wrote in a series of tweets.
"When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions," added the 43-year-old congresswoman, elected in January.
"I can't allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies," she said, using the Arabic word "sity" to refer to her grandmother.
"Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me."
Palestinian activists had been urging Tlaib on social media not to visit her grandmother under the Israeli terms.
Tlaib's decision not to visit prompted many to support her on social media platforms, using the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty to share images of their grandmothers in Palestine.
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