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May 19, 2022 11:01 am

Rashida Tlaib Given Free Reign to Reimagine History While Defending ‘Nakba’ Resolution

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listen as Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on “Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In an interview with Mehdi Hasan on his MSNBC show, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) set out the reasoning for her latest attack on Israel, which came in the form of a resolution for American lawmakers to officially label Israel’s founding as the “Nakba:”

I want folks to know, having the creation of Israel is not what’s being discussed. It’s the fact that we have an apartheid government that is targeting a whole people based on their ethnicity, and some even based on their faith. It is so important that I want everyone in Israel, Palestine to be safe and live in peace and we cannot do that if it’s under an apartheid regime — under a regime that doesn’t understand human rights values, that continues to commit war crimes, including the killing of iconic journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and so many others.

Tlaib claims that the “existence of Israel” is not what is being discussed, while in the same breath using the Arab word for catastrophe — “Nakba” — to describe the establishment of the Jewish state.

Her latest foray into the complex, nuanced Israeli-Palestinian issue is part of a problematic pattern of substituting history with histrionics (see here and here).

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Aside from the demonstrably untrue “apartheid” slur, Tlaib’s suggestion that Israel is somehow victimizing individuals based on their ethnicity or religion is baseless, not least because freedom of worship is guaranteed under Israel’s 1948 Proclamation of Independence.

Indeed, the Jewish state’s commitment to protecting religious freedom is evidenced in how it facilitates and protects access for all members of numerous religious denominations to their respective holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib has sponsored a resolution to mark the Nakba – the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.

Today, I asked her about how she responds to the critics who say she’s antisemitic for speaking out against Israel.

Watch her

— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) May 17, 2022

Tlaib, as a lawmaker, is surely familiar with the concept of due process. Yet for her, that never applies to Israel. Instead, she jumps to an unfounded conclusion during her MSNBC interview, claiming that Israel killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

For the record, Abu Akleh was shot by an as of yet unknown person during an arrest raid in Jenin following a spate of deadly Palestinian terror attacks in Israel — many of which were perpetrated by people from the West Bank city and the surrounding areas.

And this was not even Tlaib’s most outlandish accusation. She went on to accuse the Jewish state of being a “fascist regime,” and compared the country to Yemen, Syria, and Saudi Arabia — explaining that she understands the “connectivity” and vowing to always speak out against “war crimes.”

This fallacy is tantamount to an antisemitic dog whistle, one that seeks to paint the Middle East’s sole democracy and the world’s only Jewish state as totalitarian and evil.

True to form, antisemitic host Hasan did not bother to challenge any of the Congresswoman’s assertions. This is the same pundit who has incorrectly suggested that Israel killed 20 Palestinians at the Temple Mount, while dismissing deadly rock attacks by Palestinians as mere stone-throwing.

As such, Hasan’s conversation with Tlaib was not so much an interview as an anti-Israel echo chamber.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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