Tlaib trades barbs with Democrats over criticism of Israel
While Progressive Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have been battling with the President Donald Trump and the extremism of several leading Republicans, the duo have also come under attack from prominent Democrats, too, proving that when it comes to Israel’s war crimes and human rights violations, there is absolutely no difference between the racist national Republicans and the racist national Democrats
By Ray Hanania
Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter Wednesday to denounce legislation that punishes advocates who boycott Israel’s racist, apartheid practices and challenging three of the Democratic Party’s most powerful congressional leaders.
The bill, H.R. 246, was introduced by pro-Israel Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic Party Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and by Congressman Richard Neal, the Democratic Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Elijah Cummings, Democratic Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
The BDS issue reflects how most Democrats are in fact at the frontlines of defending Israel, despite the perception that Israel’s biggest supporter is Republican President Donald J. Trump.
Tlaib, a Democrat who has long supported the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement Tweeted from her personal account (@RashidaTlaib) rather than from her Congressional account (@RepTlaib) on Wednesday, “@HouseForeign wants to move forward w/ #HR246 #AntiBDS bill to silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians. … Our 1st Amd. right to free speech allows boycott of inhumane policies. This bill is unconstitutional.”
Tlaib’s Twitter post included a link to a story about how the Israeli city of Afula is implementing a policy to prevent non-Jews (Christians and Muslims) from using the city’s public parks. Israeli police this week blocked and turned away a Palestinian mother who lives in Afula and her young son when they tried to use the ostensibly public park.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican and champion of Israel’s discriminatory policies against non-Jews in Israel and in the occupied territories, responded by denouncing Tlaib as an “anti-Semite.”
Rubio Tweeted in response Wednesday, asserting that “boycotting companies that boycott Israel is also constitutionally protected.”
The difference that Rubio failed to address in his response, however, is that legislation he and more than 339 co-sponsors of the anti-BDS legislation is that their bill would in fact strip Constitutional protections from Americans who boycott Israel’s racist settler policies in the occupied territories.
Rubio’s hypocrisies and double standards are obvious as his legislation would impose penalties against critics of Israel while supporting the right of pro-Israel supporters to criticize Tlaib and others.
Tlaib, however, continually undermines herself by making broad stroke assaults that expose her to criticism. Her contentious nature is reflected in the fact that Tlaib has allowed her critics to follow her personal account while she has blocked Palestinians and Arabs who have questioned her actions. (Twitter allows users to “block” any individuals with one simple keystroke on their accounts.)
Tlaib has blocked this Palestinian writer and yet Tlaib has not blocked Israel’s racist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or many of Israel’s racist government officials. It’s an example of how Tlaib continues to wrap herself tightly in the just Palestinian cause while hypocritically undermining it.
All of the anti-BDS legislation sponsors are recipients of huge financial donations from Israel’s political action committees, meaning that their vote to defend Israel’s human rights violations is bought and paid for. It adds credence to the phrase “It’s all about the Benjamins, Baby,” a Tweet that got Omar unfairly attacked as being anti-Semitic months ago when she criticized the undue influence that Israel’s lopbbying arm has over the U.S. Congress and its members.
According to OpenSecrets.org, pro-Israel PACs have given Nadler $165,180, Neal $11,000, and Cummings $136,400 in cash donations to their campaign funds. Rubio has received $630,435 from pro-Israel PACs, according to the OpenSecrets.org website.
The BDS legislation and the pro-Israel campaign contributions pull the veil off of the false perception that there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to Israel.
There is no difference. Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims who energetically attack Trump and Republicans but who are silent on the hypocrisy of the Democrats are undermining the Palestinian cause.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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