'May God ruin Trump,' Tlaib's grandmother says

BEIT UR AL-FAUQA, West Bank, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Sitting under an olive tree in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Muftia Tlaib scoffs at the attention she has recently received from the president of the United States.

"May God ruin him," she says.

Tlaib is the grandmother of U.S. congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, at the center of an affair that has drawn Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together against U.S. Democrats.

On Thursday, bowing to pressure from Trump, Israel barred a visit by Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar that it had initially said it would allow.

The next day, Israel said it would let Tlaib visit her family in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds - but Tlaib rejected the offer, saying that Israel had imposed restrictions meant to humiliate her..

On Friday night, Trump tweeted:

"Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup. The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!"

Ninety-year-old Muftia Tlaib, sitting in her garden in the village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa, was not impressed. "Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming," she said. "May God ruin him."

Her son, Rashida's uncle Bassam Tlaib, said the women had not seen each other since 2006:

"She was going to slaughter a sheep when Rashida arrived and prepare her favorite food, stuffed vine leave.

Related: Rep. Rashida Tlaib

10 PHOTOS
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)
See Gallery
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

In this Nov. 6, 2008 file photo, Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, is photographed outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Mich. The Michigan primary victory of Tlaib, who is expected to become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, is rippling across the Middle East. In the West Bank village where Tlaib’s mother was born, residents are greeting the news with a mixture of pride and hope that she will take on a U.S. administration widely seen as hostile to the Palestinian cause.

(AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 photo, Fadwa Tlaib, an aunt of Rashida Tlaib points to a young Rashida in a 1987 picture with her mother Fatima and brother Nader, at the family house, in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Foqa. The Michigan primary victory of Tlaib, who is expected to become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, is rippling across the Middle East. In the West Bank village where Tlaib’s mother was born, residents are greeting the news with a mixture of pride and hope that she will take on a U.S. administration widely seen as hostile to the Palestinian cause. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, to unveil the "Immediate Financial Relief for Federal Employees Act" bill which would give zero interest loans for up to $6,000 to employees impacted by the government shutdown and any future shutdowns. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
No number of opponent signs can wipe our smiles of hope.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., questions Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, laugh as they wait for other freshman Congressmen to deliver a letter calling to an end to the government shutdown to deliver to the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Just voted with my son Adam. #MakingHistoryTogether
So Yousif came with me to one of our senior luncheons and we met Mother Williams who turned 104 years old (MashAllah). Yousif turns to me and says, "I thought you died at 100." Everyone laughed. I love being with the people I will fight and serve in Congress.
Eid Mubarak from my family to yours. @adamtlaib @fayez492
A beautiful day...so excited. #2days volunteer at www.rashidaforcongress.com
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"SECOND MOTHER"

"Rashida sees her granny as a second mother, she has always supported her. Rashida says she owes her success to her grandmother."

Tlaib did not outline what the conditions imposed on her visit were. Israeli media reported that she had agreed not to promote boycotts against Israel as part of her request to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Tlaib, like Omar, has voiced support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which opposes the occupation and Israel's policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. BDS backers can be denied entry to Israel by law.

The pair are the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress, and Detroit-born Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American congresswoman. Both are members of the Democratic party's progressive wing and sharp critics of Trump and Israel.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel has annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally; maintains a blockade of Gaza, run by the Islamist Hamas movement; and controls most of the West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule.

The prospects of resolving the conflict under the "two-state solution" that had guided peacemaking efforts for years have dimmed significantly since Trump took office, while Israeli settlements on land Palestinians seek for a state have expanded.

The Trump administration, which is particularly close to the Netanyahu government, has touted its own peace plan but details remain vague. It fueled Palestinian anger by recognizing disputed Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017.

Trump has for weeks been attacking Tlaib and Omar, along with lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts - all women of color known as the "Squad" - accusing them of hostility to Israel in a barrage condemned by critics as racist.

"Trump has told Rashida and Ilhan to go back to their home countries. What a contradiction, yesterday he asked them to leave and today he asks that they aren't let in," said Bassam Tlaib.

Still, the grandmother is hopeful: "My heart tells me that she will come." (Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.