Political stunt? Rashida Tlaib now fundraising over controversy surrounding canceled Israel trip

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is now fundraising over her canceled trip to Israel, giving credence to theories alleging the entire trip — and ensuing controversy — was a "political stunt."

The fundraising email by Democracy for America, a far-left political action committee, asks supporters to "chip in whatever you can to stand with [Tlaib] and [Rep.] Ilhan [Omar (D-Minn.)] now as they continue to fight for justice for all," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The email comes days after Tlaib and Omar were barred from entering Israel due to their continued support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Tlaib characterized the decision as being "banned from traveling to Israel and Palestine."

However, that is not completely true. Israeli law permits officials to restrict entry from those who support BDS. If the lawmakers cease supporting the boycott, Israel would permit them entry.

Still, Israel permitted Tlaib entry on humanitarian grounds to visit her grandmother in the West Bank. Tlaib made the initial request — which Israel approved — but later publicly turned it down.

Not shockingly, Tlaib also bashed President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the fundraising pitch.

"I've dealt with sexism, racism and Islamophobia my entire life, so I knew that would continue if I pursued a high-profile public office and won. What I didn't anticipate was for that discrimination to come from the president of the United States," she wrote of Trump.

Of Netanyahu, Tlaib wrote:
It's very telling when a so-called democratic ally bans elected members of Congress from visiting because of our political views and values. It's even more disturbing and completely unprecedented that our own president encouraged this undemocratic action. What is Netanyahu afraid that we will witness, that we will bring to light?

Not only am I heartbroken that I cannot meet the people of Israel and Palestine to witness their struggles firsthand, but I am heartbroken I can no longer visit my Palestinian grandmother, who just days ago was excited to decide which fig tree we'd pick from together.
In her email, Tlaib later admitted Israel granted her permission to visit, but claimed that Israeli officials demanded she "sign a letter restricting my freedom of speech in order to stop me from speaking out against the inhumane conditions Palestinians like my grandmother are forced to face by the Israeli military occupation."

That's not true. In fact, Israel simply asked Tlaib to abstain from promoting the BDS movement and disseminating anti-Semitism while in Israel, a condition that she wrote into her own petition for entry on humanitarian grounds.

"I will respect any restrictions, and I will not promote any boycotts against Israel during my visit," she wrote to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.

News of the fundraising will undoubtedly improve credibility of theories that Tlaib's actions were simply a big "political stunt."

"It was a political stunt from the beginning and I was glad to see that they called her on it because once she said, 'Oh, never mind. I don't want to come in the first place,' I think it put the lie to the whole escapade," conservative commentator Andrew McCarthy said on Fox News Monday.
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