Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Friday she would not travel to Israel to visit relatives on the West Bank after Israeli officials banned her, then gave her restricted permission.
Israel had denied the Michigan Democrat and fellow Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., entry into the country after pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump. On Friday, Israeli officials announced Tlaib would be allowed entry after she promised to see her grandmother in the West Bank and not promote boycotts against Israel.
After an apparent change of heart, Tlaib lashed out at the restrictions on social media.
"When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions," Tlaib wrote on Twitter Friday morning. "I can't allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity [grandmother] to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.
"Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in -- fighting against racism, oppression & injustice."
Omar retweeted Tlaib's message with the statement: "Sending you strength and solidarity."
Israeli officials said they granted permission after Tlaib sent a request to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who approved the visit on humanitarian grounds. Tlaib, seeking to visit her 90-year-old grandmother, promised to "respect any restrictions" during the visit.
"The decision to prevent the entry of the congresswomen was just and proper," Israeli strategic affairs minister Gildad Erdan tweeted Friday, adding, "[but] congresswoman Talib's request to visit her grandmother must be approved."
The pair were barred from entry over their pro-Palestinian positions and support for the "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" movement against Israel. Tlaib had said in her request she "will not promote boycotts against Israel" during her visit.
"Only a few days ago, we received their visitation plan, and it became clear that they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose was to strengthen the boycott and negate Israel's legitimacy," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel. Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress."
Tlaib said the decision is "a sign of weakness," adding that "the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening." Omar called it "an affront" and an extension of Trump's long-promised "Muslim ban."
"Trump's Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected members of Congress," she said in a statement Thursday. "Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories.
"Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump."
The pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee said Thursday while it disagreed with Tlaib and Omar, it opposes the ban.
"We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib's support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib's calls for a one-state solution," the group said on Twitter. "We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand."