Lost amid the uproar over President Trump’s rebuke of four radical “women of color” in the House of Representatives is the possibility that he was entirely justified. For months, these freshmen lawmakers, hyped by the media, have used their office to undermine enforcement of our nation’s laws, especially those related to immigration, labeling anyone who disagrees with them as a “racist.” One of these pugilists, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., stands out as an especially nasty piece of work.
A lawyer by training, Tlaib, born in 1976, occupies the Detroit-area congressional seat held for decades by John Conyers. Like the other three members of her vapid, publicity-hungry “squad” – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) – she makes no secret of her loathing for America’s identity and laws. Indeed, as a Muslim born to Palestinian parents, Tlaib proudly identifies with their foreign identity. “I’m more Palestinian in the halls of Congress than I am anywhere in the country, in the world,” she declared before the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights this April. Ironically, she’s quick to hurl the charge of “dual loyalty” at Capitol Hill colleagues, Jewish or otherwise, who express support for Israel. She has been especially supportive of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS), a worldwide movement whose aim is the economic isolation and destruction of Israel.
Rep. Tlaib’s intense identification with Palestine, a fictitious political entity whose leaders from the start have sought to wipe Israel from the map – a goal clearly expressed in Article 19 of the Palestine National Charter of 1968 – is troubling enough. Worse, she has an affinity with terrorist pitchmen who seek that result. Present at her swearing-in ceremony and a subsequent private dinner in January, was Abbas Hamideh, co-founder and executive director of Al-Awda (“right of return”). “Criminal Zionism will eventually die just like Nazism,” Hamideh tweeted on January 13. “No racist and supremacist political ideology should maintain itself.” In August 2016, he tweeted birthday greetings to Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed, Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah. His appearance with Rep. Tlaib during her first day on the job was no coincidence.
Tlaib’s association with the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group, also invites alarm. Founded in 1994, CAIR serves as a virtual mouthpiece for Hamas, a Gaza-based Sunni Muslim organization whose main specialty, aside from corruption and extortion, appears to be launching rockets into Israeli territory. Back in 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice listed CAIR as among the well over 200 unindicted co-conspirators it suspected of funneling money to Hamas via a Dallas-area “charity,” the Holy Land Foundation. That case culminated in the jury conviction of all defendants and the sentencing of Holy Land’s founders to lengthy prison terms for laundering about $12 million. More recently, United Arab Emirates, though officially Islamic, in 2014 listed CAIR a terrorist organization alongside al-Qaeda, ISIS and dozens of other groups.
Tlaib and the Council on American-Islamic Relations form a mutual admiration society of sorts. As keynote speaker at the group’s annual banquet in Chicago this February, the congresswoman greeted attendees in Arabic and buoyantly declared: “You know we’ve always said, ‘The Muslims are coming.’ Well, guess what? I think they’re here.” Tlaib then congratulated CAIR as a civil rights organization united against “hate” and “racism.” A month later, she was guest speaker at CAIR-Michigan’s annual banquet. CAIR reciprocates with money. According to Islamist Watch, CAIR members provided more than half of the $56,853 in donations raised during June 25, 2008-March 30, 2019 for her various political campaigns (including those for the Michigan legislature).
These are partnerships, not simply associations. And they spring from the common conviction that Palestinian nationalism must be pursued by any means necessary. It is a conviction shared by Tlaib’s fellow Islamic “woman of color” in the U.S. House, Ilhan Omar, who among other things, has spoken of Israel as the “Jewish ISIS” and ridiculed Americans who fear al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. There is no question that Tlaib and the rest of her “squad” possess the will, connections and logistics to infiltrate Congress and federal agencies. And they have the capacity to swing elections in their direction, even if the chumps who run Boston and other localities haven’t figured that out yet.
Given all this, it is not only understandable but laudable that President Trump would tweet criticism of lawmakers such as Rep. Tlaib. Indeed, it would be reprehensible if he stayed silent, especially given her short-lived campaign to remove him from office. In March, she had introduced a House resolution, “Inquiring whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.” Bad timing, if nothing else, doomed the effort; Special Counsel Robert Mueller had just cleared Trump of allegations that he conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
Any sensible person would ask if Tlaib would be happier living in another country, for her loyalties are certainly not with this one. It is difficult to avoid concluding that she is a security risk to our nation. In the name of public accountability, she should renounce all ties to Islamic terrorism or resign from Congress.
Carl Horowitz is senior fellow at National Legal and Policy Center, a Falls Church, Va.-based organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in American public life.