On Thursday, Israel rejected the requests of US Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to visit the country. However, half of the decision was revoked on Friday, after the Israeli government authorities allowed Tlaib to visit her family in the occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds.
The move of prohibiting the congresswomen came after the encouragement and approval of US President Donald Trump. He said that if the women are allowed to enter the country, then Israel would be displaying a sign of great weakness.
The act of US President indirectly pressurising the Israeli government by asking them not to allow the Democratic Congresswomen was taken by surprise and created an array of criticism.
Rashida Tlaib went on to request for the permission to visit her family despite knowing the source responsible for the prohibition and the reason behind Trump’s involvement.
Interior Minister of Israel, Aryeh Deri made a statement on Friday to allow the Michigan Representative, saying, “Congresswoman Tlaib has sent tonight a letter to Minister Deri in which she committed to accept all the demands of Israel to respect the restrictions imposed on her in the visit, and she also promised not to advance boycotts against Israel during her visit.”
Omar termed the decision as “an affront” and “an insult to democratic values”. She said, “It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government.”
“Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected members of congress,” she added.
Rashida Tlaib in her letter not only requested to visit her relatives but also her 90-year-old grandmother living in Beit Ur al-Fouqa.
It is not for the first time that the US President has been involved in feud with these Democratic Congresswomen. Earlier, he asked the Democratic Congresswomen’s squad comprising of Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.
The reason why Omar and Tlaib were supporting the boycott Israel movement was due to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, and continued construction of West Bank settlements, which can be called a breach of international law.
Although the ban on travel is not only a violation of human right, it also shows how far a government is willing to go to against anyone who opposes its policies. Also, imposing conditions on travel, just like it happened with Rashida Tlaib shows true nature of US administration and how Israeli government is trying to fend of boycott and sanctions.