Last week we highlighted how Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the squad member who serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, refused to vote on Rep. August Pfluger's (R-TX) amendment condemning the anti-Semitic material in Palestinian materials handed out to school children. This week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), spoke at an online event held by Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), and co-sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). She once more reiterated her claims that Israel is an "apartheid government," and claimed progressives couldn't support it.
The remarks were highlighted by RNC Research as well as Zvika Klein with The Jerusalem Post.
Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib brags about getting other Democrats to oppose Israel:— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 20, 2022
“You never could imagine this many people come to the House floor to say, 'I am not gonna support the Iron Dome.'" pic.twitter.com/BLsRVAPpiW
As the squad member put it, even bragging about it, "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." Tlaib doubled down on being so adamant that one cannot be progressive and support Israel. "We will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive, except for ‘Philistine,’ any longer," she added.
Tlaib also linked her remarks to her social justice crusade. On the "need to oppose Israel's government apartheid rule," she said "the path to freedom for Palestine is long and daunting," but "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."
When it comes to the Iron Dome vote from last September, Rep. Tlaib was one of just a handful of members to vote against it. It passed in the House by 420-9. One Republican, Rep. Thomas Massie (KY) voted against it, as did Democratic Reps. Tlaib, Omar, Ayanna Pressley (MA), Cori Bush (MO), Marie Newman (IL), and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ).
Those numbers aren't much for Tlaib to brag about.
As it turns out, there is a group whose very existence goes against Rep. Tlaib's claims. The Democratic Majority for Israel's Twitter bio reads "Democratic Majority for Israel fights for progressive values — including a strong U.S.-Israel relationship." Similar language is also mentioned as a core mission on their website, which mentions they seek to "Maintain & Strengthen Support for Israel Among Grassroots Progressives and Democratic Leaders."
The group retweeted and responded to several numerous tweets from fellow members of Congress who took issue with Rep. Tlaib's remarks, including Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is Jewish.
I proudly embrace both of these political positions and identities, even as I have criticized some of the policies and actions of democratically-elected Israeli governments over time.— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) September 21, 2022
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. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) September 21, 2022
Rep. Richie Torres (NY) describes himself as "the embodiment of a pro-Israel progressive," and would not join the squad due to their vigorous support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
There’s nothing progressive about advocating for the end of Israel as a Jewish State.— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) September 21, 2022
Nothing progressive about opposing the Abraham Accords, which promotes peace.
Nothing progressive about opposing Iron Dome, which protects civilians from indiscriminate rocket fire. https://t.co/yRpwAIeA7K
Rep. Tlaib has referred to Israel as an "apartheid government" before, leading up to the Iron Dome vote. This led to a memorable exchange on the House floor, during which Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) called her out from the House floor. Deutch announced his retirement from Congress in February in order to become the CEO of the American Jewish Committee.
I plan on casting a no vote.— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 23, 2021
We must stop enabling Israel's human rights abuses and apartheid government. https://t.co/2ewRJDe7uK