Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was slammed by members of her own party Wednesday in response to comments she made this week when she said that Democrats could not be considered “progressive” if they supported Israel.
On Tuesday, while speaking at an online advocacy seminar by Americans for Justice in Palestine Action that was co-sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine, Tlaib said, “I want you all to know that among progressives, it has become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government.”
She added, “We will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive, except for ‘Philistine,’ any longer.”
Tlaib also spoke of “victories” that the anti-Israel movement has achieved “due to the work of all of you, and so many others that continue to speak truth to power. When we center our beliefs and our actions on the truth that all human life is precious, that every person deserves to live free of fear and have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.”
“The need to oppose Israel’s government’s apartheid rule is obvious. The path to freedom for Palestine is long and daunting, we must see through to its end. We owe it to not only Palestinians, [but] oppressed people all over the world who understand that our struggles are linked to one another.”
Just a day before her most recent comments, Tlaib bragged about getting Democrats elected who opposed the Jewish State. “You never could imagine this many people come to the house floor to say, ‘I am not gonna support the Iron Dome funding,”‘ for Israel missile defense system used to protect civilians against terrorist rocket attacks.
She continued, “I am not going to support continuing unconditional aid never could have imagined people thought it was literally political, uh, murder.” The activist then slandered the Jewish state saying, “If you speak up against policy human rights and condemn the abuses by the Israeli government and demand conditioning aid to Israel you won't get elected again. That's kind of the myth out there. And that myth has completely been mashed over and over again by the election of myself and so many of our other colleagues that continue to speak up against those abuses.”
Tlaib has a long history of anti-Semitism and has spoken at events where attendees and speakers have called for the elimination of the Jewish state and her recent comments drew the wrath of fellow Democrats.
Rep Juan Vargas (D-CA) tweeted, It’s not progressive to advocate for the end of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. It’s not progressive to oppose the life-saving Iron Dome. Supporting the only democratic state in the Middle East IS progressive.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) tweeted in response to Tlaib's comments: “I fundamentally reject the notion that one cannot support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and be a progressive. … I would happily put my progressive record and credentials up against anyone’s. It is both wrong and self-defeating for progressive leaders to abide such an offensive litmus tests.”
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) tweeted in response, “That’s right, Chairman Nadler. And remember, there are progressive activists, progressive students, and progressive Members of Congress whose support of democratic Israel is fundamentally a part of their progressive values. They all belong at the table. We will not be silenced.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tweeted, “The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by @RashidaTlaib is nothing short of antisemitic. Proud progressives do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Suggesting otherwise is shameful and dangerous. Divisive rhetoric does not lead to peace.”
“There’s nothing progressive about advocating for the end of Israel as a Jewish State,” Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted. “Nothing progressive about opposing the Abraham Accords, which promotes peace. Nothing progressive about opposing Iron Dome, which protects civilians from indiscriminate rocket fire.”
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt condemned Tlaib’s comments writing on Twitter, “In one sentence, Tlaib simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces, even as she doubles down on her antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state.”
“It’s absolutely reprehensible and does nothing to advance the cause of peace. We call on people of goodwill and leaders across the political spectrum to make clear that such antisemitism will not be tolerated.”
Rep. Grace Meng called the comments “divisive,” tweeting, “Jews are the most targeted religious community in the United States. Divisive language is never acceptable, especially at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise. People can absolutely hold progressive values and support Israel’s right to exist.”
However, after fellow Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar made a series of antisemitic and anti-Israel comments, the Democrats failed to condemn her, and many assumed that Tlaib would escape any repercussions from the party’s leadership.
“Why don’t you move to kick her off her committees like you all did to a Republican for similar reasons?” writer Peter Roff tweeted:
Physician Pradheep J. Shanker tweeted: “Unless you punish such antisemitism, its [sic] all talk.” He continued, “So, you have a chance to be better. Punish the anti-semites in your party. Take the high road. DO BETTER.”