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US Representative Rashida Tlaib teared up on Monday at an emotional press conference alongside Ilhan Omar at the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul.
The pair, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, spoke out after they were blocked from visiting Israel and came under criticism from US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Tlaib broke down when recalling her childhood in Palestine. “As a young girl visiting Palestine to visit my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through de-humanising checkpoints even though she was a United States citizen and proud American,” she said.
“I was there when my sitty [Arabic for grandmother] was in a terrible car accident and my cousins and I cried so she could have access to the best hospitals, which were in Jerusalem.”
On Thursday, Israel announced they would bar Tlaib and fellow representative Ilhan Omar from entering the country for a congressional visit, due to their support of the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Israel then agreed to allow Tlaib to enter the country on restrictive grounds, but the Michigan lawmaker refused.
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