The grandmother of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) stated on Saturday that she hopes God will "ruin" President Donald Trump after the congresswoman made the decision to forgo her own trip to Israel over the country's "racist" policies.
"I was so happy that she was coming," Muftia Tlaib, who lives in Israel's West Bank, told Reuters. "Everyone was excited that she was coming for her grandmother to see her."
The Israeli government announced on Thursday that it would deny entry to Tlaib and fellow progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over their advocacy of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish Israel by politically and economically depriving the country.
Accordingly, the Israeli Knesset enacted anti-BDS legislation in 2017 that enables the government to block foreign activists from traveling to the country.
The Israeli government further advised Tlaib to file a special humanitarian request in order to visit Israel and see her family, which Tlaib subsequently did. In a letter sent to Israel's Interior Minister Ayre Deri, the Michigan congresswoman expressed the importance of visiting her aging grandmother and vowed not to promote any boycotts against the Jewish state during her trip.
After her humanitarian request was granted, Tlaib announced that she would not be traveling to Israel, and thereby abstain from seeing her grandmother, due to the country's "oppressive [and] racist policies."
"Silencing me [and] treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me," she said. "I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in – fighting against racism, oppression [and] injustice."
After reports surfaced on Wednesday that Deri was slated to block Tlaib and Omar entry into Israel, President Trump commended the reported news.
"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel [and] all Jewish people, [and] there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds," Trump said. "Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!"
He later slammed Tlaib's decision to "obnoxiously" turn down the special waiver that Israel had granted, despite "desperately wanting to visit her grandmother."
"A complete setup. Only real winner here is Tlaib's grandmother," Trump said. "She doesn't have to see her now!"
"Trump tells me I should be happy Rashida is not coming," Muftia Tlaib responded to the president. "May God ruin him."
Tlaib's uncle, Bassam, told Reuters that the pair had not seen each other since 2006, and that they expected it to be the last meeting before her grandmother dies.
"She was going to slaughter a sheep when Rashida arrived and prepare her favorite food, stuffed vine leave," Bassam said. "Rashida sees her granny as a second mother, she has always supported her. Rashida says she owes her success to her grandmother."