During a joint press conference with Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Tlaib broke down describing the pain of enduring militarized checkpoints and dehumanizing treatment by Israelis toward her and her Palestinian family.
August 19, 2019

Earlier Monday, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar held a joint press conference to respond to Netayahu's decision to deny these elected representatives of the United States government entry to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Rep. Omar opened with a general explanation of what they were planning to do, before encouraging all Representatives to visit even if she couldn't. Then Rep. Tlaib made a fiery and emotional statement about what it meant for her to visit, and why she wanted to do so again.

Rep. Tlaib nearly broke down in tears when recalling times as a girl when she visited Palestine.

"As a young girl visiting Palestine to visit my family I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints," she said, choking back tears. "Even though she was a United States citizen and proud American."

"I was there when my sitti (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," she continued. "I remember shaking with fear when checkpoints appeared in the small village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa and tanks and guns everywhere."

She continued, "I remember visiting east Jerusalem with my then-husband and him escorted off the bus although he was a United States citizen just so security forces could harass him."

"I can do as my city's granddaughter, as the granddaughter of a woman who lives in occupied territory is to elevate her voice by exposing the truth, the only way I know how."

Tlaib also said she wanted to highlight how walls isolate people and take away their economic self-determination, but all she could do now is humanize the pain of oppression.

"All I can do as her granddaughter is help humanize her [grandmother] and the Palestinian people's plight," she said. "When we could see them as deserving of human dignity everyone who lives there will be able to live in peace."

What a lovely thing to aspire to. I wonder if it can ever happen.

Watch her full statement above, as broadcast on CNN.

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