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 TlaibMichigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE (D-Mich.) has invited House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelNadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Trump moves forward with billion F-16 sale to Taiwan Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid 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 PelosiMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (D-Calif.) to block Tlaib from leading the delegation, saying it could damage U.S.-Israel relations.