Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic representative-elect from Michigan and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, will lead a delegation to Palestine in 2019 instead of participating in a sponsored trip to Israel that is traditionally offered to newly-elected members of Congress, The Intercept reported.
The week-long Israel trip, sponsored by the
Pro-Palestine groups in the U.S. hope that Tlaib's trip will give Congress members a "refreshening perspective" of the situation in the West Bank. Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, told INSIDER that past Congressional trips to Israel have provided "skewed" perspectives of the conflict that benefit only one side of the issue.
"Going over there and seeing for yourself what's taking place is one of the most important things that anybody could do and, for members of Congress in particular, to be able to look at the situation on the ground first-hand and to have to think about the role the U.S. government plays in creating that situation on the ground, that situation of injustice, is, I think, very important," Munayyer added.
Tlaib, who called Trump Administration's Muslim ban "textbook bigotry" and, with Ilhan Omar, will become one of the first Muslim Congresswomen in American history, has vowed to propose legislation that will "drastically expand U.S. civil rights protections to cover discriminatory impacts." Though it is still unknown which members of Congress will join Tlaib for the West Bank visit, the Congresswoman-elect said her end goal is to humanize Palestinians.