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In her first press conference since she and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) were barred from entering Israel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) teared up while recalling the conditions that she and her family were subjected to during childhood visits to the West Bank.

"As a young girl visiting Palestine to see my grandparents and extended family, I watched as my mother had to go through dehumanizing checkpoints even though she was a United States citizen and proud American. I was there where when my sitty was in a terrible car accident and my cousins and I cried so she could have access to the best hospitals, which were in Jerusalem. I remember shaking with fear when checkpoints appeared in the small village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa, tanks and guns everywhere. I remember visiting east Jerusalem with my then-husband, and him escorted off the bus, although he was a United States citizen, just so security forces could harass him. All I can do as my sitty's granddaughter, as the granddaughter of a woman who lives in occupied territory, is to elevate her voice by exposing the truth the only way I know how."

Catch up quick: Omar and Tlaib, the first 2 Muslim women elected to Congress, were set to visit Israel this week until the nation issued a formal ban over their support for the BDS movement, which calls for boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on his decision to allow Tlaib and Omar to enter the country after pressure from President Trump.

  • Netanyahu said in a statement last week that the lawmakers' "sole purpose is to strengthen the boycott and delegitimize Israel," arguing that their itinerary showed they did not have any interest in meeting with Israeli government officials.
  • Rep. Omar disputed Netanyahu's claim during the press conference, stating that she planned to meet directly with members of the Israeli parliament and Israeli security officials, along with Palestinian civil society groups, former Israel Defense Forces soldiers and others.
  • An itinerary published by Omar's office does not appear to show any meetings scheduled with Israeli government officials.

Of note: Tlaib was later granted permission by the Israeli government to visit her family in the West Bank, but decided not to go after discussing it with her grandmother. "She said I'm her dream manifested, I'm her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged and bow down?" Tlaib added.

Go deeper: Decision to bar Omar and Tlaib widens rift between Israel and Democrats

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.