Tlaib invites Dem chairman on West Bank delegation after his criticism

Tlaib invites Dem chairman on West Bank delegation after his criticism
© Greg Nash

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDems concerned impeachment will make Trump 'appear like a victim,' says pollster Officials dismiss criticism that Trump rhetoric to blame for New Zealand attack Tlaib: Trump needs to send a 'very loud and clear' signal against domestic terrorism, white supremacy MORE (D-Mich.) has invited House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP House passes series of measures hitting Russia, Putin The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight MORE (D-N.Y.) to join her on a planned congressional delegation to the West Bank after he criticized the trip in an interview.

“Yo [Engel] how are we ever going to obtain peace?” Tlaib tweeted at the longtime New York congressman. “I hope you’ll come with me on the trip to listen and learn. My sity (grandmother) will welcome you with an embrace & love.”

“Please feel free to call me if you have anything to say,” she added. “I am your colleague now.”

 

Engel appeared to dismiss the proposed trip this week in an interview with Al-Monitor, suggesting that Tlaib’s proposal is “close-minded.” 

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“Instead of her talking about things, she’s new here, she ought to listen and learn and open her mind and then come to some conclusions,” Engel said. “If you’re going to be close-minded and have your views, no one’s going to change her views. But I would hope that once you’re elected to Congress, you would at least care to see the other side of the coin.”

The freshman lawmaker from Michigan, the nation’s first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and one of the first two Muslim congresswomen, is planning on leading a delegation to the West Bank at the same time as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) trip to Israel for new members of Congress.

She told The Intercept in December that she does not think the AIPAC trip “provides a real, fair lens” into Israeli-Palestinian issues.  

"[They] have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there,” she said in the interview, in which she also said she supports the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

An aide to Engel told The Hill that Al-Monitor “mischaracterized” the congressman's remarks, saying that he doesn’t have an opinion on Tlaib's delegation. 

GOP Rep. Brian Babin (Texas) has asked House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke MORE (D-Calif.) to block Tlaib from leading the delegation, saying it could damage U.S.-Israel relations.