Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) spent much of the past week demonstrating for the American Jewish community why they should be concerned about the Squad’s control of the Democratic Party agenda. Last Tuesday, she stood on the House floor and used anti-Semitic language to fight a bill condemning BDS. On Sunday, interviewed by Jake Tapper, she refused to say that the Jewish people have the right to a state of their own.
Tlaib spoke out on the House floor against a bipartisan resolution opposing the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel — a movement that Tlaib said is equivalent to the boycotts of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.
The purpose of the BDS movement is to delegitimize Israel and deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination; its leaders support a one-state solution that will destroy Israel as a Jewish state. Leadership figures from the State Department to Pope Francis have declared that denying Jews the right to their own country is a form of anti-Semitism.
“Americans of conscience have long and proud history of participating in boycotts, specifically to advocate for human rights abroad,” Tlaib said. “Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people.”
Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, blames Israel for Palestinian problems and compares the Jewish state to Nazis, ignoring the fact that what she calls occupied territory was never part of any Palestinian state. Before 1967, Judea and Samaria was Jordanian land, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned 14 years ago, was part of Israel.
Tlaib blames Israel, but Palestinian Arab refugee camps were created by the Arab League, and especially former Egyptian President Nasser. Nasser knew that forcing the refugees into camps, rather than allowing them to be absorbed by the countries in which they settled, would turn their presence into a weapon against Israel. Palestinian Muslims remain the Arab League’s best defense against the Jewish state.
Per the State Department, not recognizing that the Jews have a right to a state, “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” and “blaming Israel for all interreligious or political tensions” are examples of anti-Semitism.
In her remarks, Tlaib also neglected to mention that Hitler had the help and support of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, or that the Palestinian Authority has banned Jews from living in their territory. She did say, “All Americans have the right to participate in boycotts, and I oppose all legislative efforts that target speech.”
Many boycotts are considered free speech, but some boycotts, like BDS, are examples of bigotry. Is it right to boycott a country because of its faith? Can we boycott because of skin color? What if someone wanted to boycott any business owned by African-Americans? Or Muslims? Should people boycott Saudi Arabia because it is primarily Sunni Muslim? Or Lebanon, because it is Shia? Perhaps we should never go to Brazil, because the majority of its citizens are Catholic.
After her speech on the House floor, the Michigan Democrat wasn’t finished. On Sunday morning, she was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on his State of The Union program. Tapper tried to press Tlaib on BDS and on her position on Israel as a Jewish state.
First, Tlaib denied that BDS was an anti-Israel or anti-Semitic movement. “No, it’s criticizing the racist policies of Israel,” she said. “And it’s a boycott, right?”
Muslims and people of color have leadership positions in Israel, while there is not a single Jew in the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. Who is the racist?
She went on to say, “People want to dismiss it because they’re trying to say it’s anti-Semitism. That’s the way they’re trying to discredit the fact that we all know, under Netanyahu’s regime, human rights violations have gotten worse.”
Well, she is correct. During Netanyahu’s term as Prime Minister, Palestinian rockets have been shot at civilian areas, Israeli citizens have been stabbed in the streets, and other terrorist attacks have been rampant. Indeed, these Palestinian terrorists have committed human rights violations.
But Tapper’s last question was the big one. “Do you think the Jewish people have the right to a state in the area where Israel exists now?” he asked.
Tlaib answered with a non-answer: “Look, I truly believe the state of Israel exists, correct.” She went on to compare the Palestinian movement to the civil rights movement. “I learned that from my African-American teachers in Detroit public schools, who showed me what the pain of oppression looks like. We’re not going to have peace if we don’t understand that we are dehumanizing Palestinians every single day when we choose Israel over their rights.”
Tapper tried again, but omitted part of his original question. “Yes or no, does Israel have a right to exist?”
The new phrasing let the congresswoman off the hook. “Oh, of course,” she said. (The Palestinian Authority has stated its intention to use the “right of return” to flood Israel with Palestinian Muslim descendants of the original refugees, using Israel’s own commitment to democracy to ensure that it is no longer a Jewish state.) “But just like Palestinians have a right to exist, Palestinians also have a right to human rights. We can’t say one or the other. We have to say it in the same breath, or we’re not going to actually have a peaceful resolution.”
It’s not just Rep. Tlaib. Barely eight months in office, the so-called Squad, which includes Tlaib and Reps. Pressley (D-Mass.), Omar (D-Minn.), and Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), have reached a level of notoriety unheard-of for freshmen House members. Three of the four — Tlaib, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez — are strong supporters of the BDS movement. Rep. Pressley does not support BDS, but has supported one-sided anti-Israel legislation accusing the IDF of “military detention, interrogation, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”
Also disturbing is that despite their positions, Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, who represents one of the most Jewish districts in America, was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program two weeks ago requesting to be an honorary member of the Squad. There is no excuse for him to associate with this anti-Israel gang of four.
It’s time to for American Jews to wake up and smell the hummus: the Democratic Party has become the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic party. Continuing to blindly support them is nothing short of Jew-icide.