Tlaib: It’s a ‘sign of weakness’ for Israel to ban me

U.S. Rashida Tlaib at the Detroit NAACP dinner | Andrew Roth

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, said on Thursday that it’s a “sign of weakness” that Israel will not allow her into the country.

As the Advance reported, Israel has barred both Tlaib and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from traveling there on a scheduled trip at the urging of President Donald Trump. The GOP president has been attacking Tlaib, Omar and other progressive freshmen known as the “Squad.” His racist remarks were condemned in a resolution passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House.

On Thursday, Tlaib responded on Twitter to Israel’s decision and invoked her grandmother.

Trump continued his campaign against the congresswomen on Twitter, as well, calling them “a disgrace.”

Several Jewish leaders and groups, sided with Tlaib and Omar, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which the congresswomen have criticized for its power in Congress. Tlaib and Omar support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that urges companies and nations to distance themselves from Israel in protest of their treatment of Palestinians.

However, AIPAC tweeted Thursday that “every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

Tlaib and Omar also won support from several members of Congress, including some Democrats running for president. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Israel barring the congresswomen would be a “shameful, unprecedented move.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called Trump a “bigot” in response to his tweet.

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Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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