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  • Rashida Tlaib (r) and her Palestinian sitty

    Rashida Tlaib (r) and her Palestinian sitty | Photo: @RashidaTlaib

Published 17 August 2019

#mypalestinesitty trends to commemorate Palestinian grandmothers and BDS after Trump insults Congresswoman Tlaib and her 90-year-old grandmother. 

Twitter is alight with #mypalestinesitty, a hashtag being used by thousands to pay homage to their Palestinian grandmothers after United States President Trump insulted U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib—and her 90-year-old grandmother, Muftia Tlaib, who lives in the West Bank.

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Muftia Tlaib responded to Trump on Saturday—"may God damn you" after he tweeted the day before: "Representative Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials because she desperately wanted to visit her grandmother. The permit was quickly granted, but Tlaib rejected the approval unpleasantly, a complete trap. The only real winner here is Tlaib's grandmother. You won't have to see her now!"

By Saturday afternoon the #mypalestinesitty, ‘sitty’ meaning grandmother in Arabic, took off on Twitter with Palestinians commemorating their grandmothers with words and images.

“I will always be unapologetically Palestinian and raise my children and my grandchildren the same because I have no choice but to honor their sacrifices.

I am because of them. #MyPalestinianSitty,” tweeted @lsarsour. ​​​​​​​

In another tweet, @spiderqueen420 wrote: “#MyPalestinianSitty was my best friend. She was born in Yaffa, Palestine in 1927. She was forced to flee in 1948 & took her children to Lebanon as refugees. She passed this last April. I will go to Yaffa soon & bring sand back to her grave to honor her.” 

Others added their appreciation for the hashtag and the stories for bringing greater public attention to the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and its control of resources and borders in these areas. @CrowellBrian tweeted: “@IsraeliPM  #MyPalestinianSitty is trending on Twitter. Thank you for exposing the Apartheid state for the world to see on the big stage. Much appreciated. @ChemiShalev @PeterBeinart.”​​​​​​​

On Thursday, the Israeli government decided not to allow Congresswomen Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to carry out their planned visit to Palestine due to their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement opposes the Israeli occupation and policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Under Israeli law, BDS backers can be denied entry to Israel. 

The pair are the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress, and Detroit-born Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American congresswoman.

The following day, however, Israel said it would let Tlaib visit her family under “humanitarian” reasons, but Tlaib rejected the offer and said Israel gave her permission on "oppressive conditions" that prohibited the politician from discussing BDS. ​​​​​​​

Congresswoman Tlaib herself joined the hashtag, posting an image of her and her sitty, saying, “This was my other #MyPalestinianSitty who no one could mess with. She was proud of being from #BeitHanina and was one fierce woman.”

The two Tlaib women haven’t seen each other since 2006.

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