"I spoke to my family and I think my grandmother said it beautifully when she said I'm her osfur. Osfur in Arabic means her bird. And she said I'm her dream manifested, I am her free bird. So, why would I come back and be caged and bow down when my election rose her head up high?"
5. Various of people recording and watching news conference
"We all decided as a family that I could not go until I was a free, American, United States congresswoman coming there, not only to see my grandmother, but to talk to Palestinian and Israeli organizations that believed my grandmother deserved human dignity as much as anyone else does."
"It is my belief that, as legislators, we have an obligation to see the reality there for ourselves. We have a responsibility to conduct oversight over our government's foreign policy and what happens with the millions of dollars we send in aid. So, I would encourage my colleagues to visit. Meet with the people we were going to meet with, see the things we were going to see."
Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel on Monday for denying them entry to the Jewish state, and called on fellow members of Congress to go while they cannot.
Tlaib, of Michigan, and Omar were joined by Minnesota residents who said they had been directly affected by travel restrictions in the past.
Tlaib spoke of her grandmother's understanding that she wouldn't visit the country, saying "why would I come back caged and bow down when my election rose her head up high."
Israel denied entry to the two Muslim representatives over their support for the Palestinian-led boycott movement.
Tlaib and Omar, who had planned to visit Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank on a tour organized by a Palestinian group, are outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and support the Palestinian-led international movement boycotting Israel.
Last week, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Tlaib had requested and been granted permission to enter the West Bank to see her aging grandmother.
Deri's office released a letter that it said was from Tlaib, which promised to respect travel restrictions during her visit. But after the announcement, Tlaib tweeted she wouldn't allow Israel to use her love for her grandmother to force her to "bow down."