Don’t mess with Rashida’s sity.
The feisty 90-year-old Palestinian grandmother of Rep. Rashida Tlaib hit back at President Trump, calling on God to “ruin him” for helping to bar the Michigan Democrat from visiting the West Bank — and making a nasty joke out of their enforced separation.
“Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming?” Muftia Tlaib told Reuters. “May God ruin him.”
The elderly matriarch of Tlaib’s clan sat beneath an olive tree in the garden of the family’s home in the village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa.
They had planned to slaughter a sheep and the sity, Arabic for grandma, wanted to make Rashida Tlaib’s beloved stuffed grape leaves.
The welcome party is canceled now that Israel refused to let Tlaib into the occupied West Bank unless she agreed to not discuss politics. After initially accepting the offer of a “purely humanitarian” visit, Tlaib refused to bow to the conditions.
Trump ripped Tlaib as “obnoxious” for not accepting the Israeli offer to muzzle herself during the visit.
He also took a particularly cheap personal shot at the Tlaib family, saying the grandmother, who has lived more than half her long life under Israeli military occupation, should be happy not to host her famous granddaughter, whom she has not seen since 2006.
In fact, Muftia Tlaib has been looking forward to seeing Rashida Tlaib for months, and the Detroit lawmaker said she was looking forward to picking figs with her grandma. The village celebrated in 2018 when their favorite daughter became the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to Congress.
Israel had originally said it would allow Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to enter the country and visit the West Bank, to which it controls all access.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed course this week and said they are not welcome because of their support of economic boycott to pressure Israel into ending the occupation and negotiating an independent Palestinian state.
The unprecedented move has provoked a major split between Israel, which gets more than $3 billion in U.S. aid annually, and usually reliable allies in the Democratic Party.
The Mideast conflict also reared its head in the Democratic presidential primary fight as major candidates slammed Netanyahu.
Bassam Tlaib, the lawmaker’s uncle, said Trump’s support for Israel’s effort to block the trip by Tlaib and Omar is particularly ironic in view of the racist “send her back” chants of his supporters.
“Yesterday he asked them to leave and today he asks that they aren’t let in,” Bassam Tlaib told Reuters.
Despite the impasse, Muftia Tlaib hopes she will still see Rashida before she dies: “My heart tells me that she will come.”
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