Rashida Tlaib made headlines recently when it was learned that she and fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar shunned a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel and announced that they would instead schedule an independent trip – sponsored by the notoriously anti-Israel nongovernmental organization Miftah – to the Jewish state. But Israel’s government – in accordance with an Israeli law barring the issuance of visas to any foreigners who, like Tlaib and Omar, advocate economic and cultural boycotts against Israel – stated that the two congresswomen would not be permitted to enter the country.
Shortly thereafter, the Israeli government softened its stance and agreed to allow Tlaib to enter the West Bank in order to visit her grandmother. But Tlaib, playing the role of martyr, turned down the offer, tweeting: “When I won [election to Congress], it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my [grandmother] to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies. Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
But if we look at the track record of this self-proclaimed champion of justice, we find a long history of Jew-hatred coupled with a pronounced affinity for radical Islamists.
In an October 2015 tweet, for instance, Tlaib linked to an article in The Nation lauding Black Lives Matter activists in Chicago for supporting “a Palestinian woman threatened with deportation.” The woman in question was Rasmea Odeh, a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist who had played a central role in a deadly 1969 bombing in Jerusalem.
In December 2017, Tlaib shared a Facebook post in which Muslim activist Linda Sarsour had expressed support for Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl whom Israeli authorities had recently incarcerated for assaulting an IDF soldier and proclaiming that “everyone must” attack Israeli Jews by means of “stabbings, martyrdom-seeking operations [i.e. suicide bombings], throwing stones.” “Absolutely inhumane to target a young girl for fighting against racist policies,” wrote Tlaib. “Her voice should be lifted.”
In February 2018 Tlaib joined a Facebook group called the “Palestinian American Congress,” which commonly demonizes Jews. The group’s Palestinian founder, Maher Abdel-qader: (a) helped raise funds for Tlaib’s political campaign and organized some of her campaign events; (b) has accused Israeli settlers of training children “to terrorize Palestinian civilians”; and (c) once used his Facebook page to share a video claiming that Jews have no historical claim to Israel, and that stories of the Holocaust are gross exaggerations if not complete fabrications.
Upon winning her Democratic congressional primary on August 7, 2018, Tlaib draped herself in a Palestinian flag while celebrating with her supporters. In her victory speech, she promised to “fight back against every racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled.” When she was subsequently asked by Great Britain’s Channel 4 News if she planned to vote against U.S. military aid to Israel, Tlaib responded: “Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice.”
In December 2018, Tlaib become just the second U.S. lawmaker — the first was Ilhan Omar— to publicly voice support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. “I personally support the BDS movement,” Tlaib said in an interview with the news website The Intercept. “I want us to see that segregation and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region.”
On January 3, 2019 — her first official day as a new Member of Congress, which was now in Democratic control for the first time in eight years — Tlaib told a raucous crowd of supporters at a MoveOn.org reception near Capitol Hill that Donald Trump’s days as President were numbered: “We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfu**er.” When she was sworn into office, Tlaib wore a traditional Palestinian gown and took her oath by placing her hand on a copy of the Koran. That same day, a member of Tlaib’s entourage used a post-it bearing the name “Palestine” along with an arrow pointing to Israel on a wall map in Tlaib’s office, to indicate that this should be Israel’s new name.
A notable attendee at Tlaib’s swearing-in ceremony was the executive director and co-founder of Al-Awda, Abbas Hamideh, who has repeatedly: (a) stated his belief that “Israel does not have a right to exist”; (b) equated Zionism with Nazism and the genocidal ideology of ISIS; and (c) voiced support for Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, whom he regards as “the most honorable Arab-Muslim leader of our lifetime.” Moreover, Hamideh in 2015 had publicly lamented the death of the man he called “the legendary Hezbollah martyr” Samir Kuntar, who years earlier had murdered a 31-year-old Israeli Jew named Danny Haran as the latter’s four-year-old daughter watched in horror, before proceeding to kill the girl as well by smashing her skull against a rock with his rifle. Following Tlaib’s swearing-in ceremony, Hamideh posted to his Twitter account a photo of himself and Tlaib holding up a large painting of the newly elected congresswoman. He also attended a private celebratory dinner with Tlaib, her family, and a number of her friends and activists.
During the first week of January 2019, Tlaib used her Twitter account to condemn her Congressional colleagues who backed a bill designed to allow local, state, and federal agencies to avoid doing business with companies or organizations that supported the Hamas-inspired Boycott-Divestment-Sanction (or BDS) movement against Israel. “They forgot what country they represent,” wrote Tlaib. “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality,” she tweeted.
In March 2019, Tlaib posed for a photograph with Palestinian activist Nader Jalajel, who in February 2018 had mourned the death of Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jarrar, the leader of a January 2018 shooting attack that killed a rabbi in Israel. On his Facebook page, Jalajel wrote “Allah Yerhamo,” or “May God have mercy on him,” above a photo of a rifle-brandishing Jarrar, who, by Jalajel’s telling, had died “after a long battle resisting the brutal Israeli occupation and defending his people and his land.” In August 2019, Jalajel articulated similar condolences after IDF personnel killed four heavily armed Hamas terrorists who had crossed the border from Gaza into Israel. “LONG LIVE THE RESISTANCE!!!” Jalajel wrote.
And just last month, Tlaib and fellow Democrats Ilhan Omar and John Lewis co-sponsored a House Resolution supporting the BDS movement and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. The resolution called on House members to oppose “unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad,” a reference to resolutions that had been passed in several states to prohibit the granting of government contracts to companies that backed BDS.
Rashida Tlaib portrays herself as a voice in the chorus against “racism, oppression & injustice,” but in fact she promotes those abhorrent vices more vocally and more consistently than almost anyone else in American government. By any measure, she is a committed enemy of Israel and the Jewish people.