Executive director of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition Abbas Hamideh poses with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) at a swearing-in ceremony and private dinner in Detroit on Jan. 12, 2019. Photo: Abbas Hamideh/Twitter.
JNS.org – Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) responded to backlash over taking a photo this month with an activist who has called Israel a “terrorist entity” and said its founding was a “crime.”
The congresswoman was photographed with Abbas Hamideh, who has repeatedly expressed support for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, at her swearing-in ceremony in Detroit on Jan. 12.
The Anti-Defamation League is among those who have called for Tlaib to “clarify this attendance and denounce his antisemitism.”
“No matter your political persuasion, all leaders—and Americans—need to unequivocally speak out against antisemitism and hate,” posted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a Twitter thread. “That especially goes for members of Congress.”
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“Days ago, @RashidaTlaib was photographed at an event with Abbas Hamideh, a man who has praised terrorist groups Hamas & Hezbollah and equated Zionists with Nazis,” he added. “We ask her to clarify his attendance and denounce his antisemitism.”
No matter your political persuasion, all leaders — and Americans — need to unequivocally speak out against anti-Semitism and hate. That especially goes for members of Congress. 1/3
Tlaib told The Detroit Free Presslast week, “A photo does not mean I agree with anything someone says. It is obvious this man thrives on media attention from his recent posts. It’s unfortunate that he was successful. I do not agree with the statements brought to my attention.”
But Hamideh toldThe Daily Caller last week that he became acquainted with Tlaib during her congressional campaign, but they don’t have a “close relationship.”
“Now, she knows me well, don’t get me wrong, and I know her well through her campaign and stuff like that—like we’ve met numerous times [at] numerous events,” said Hamideh.
Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian American women to be elected to Congress, has come under fire for her critical stance on Israel, including advocating for the BDS movement.