By Joel B. Pollak
The second Democratic Party presidential primary debate will be held in downtown Detroit, Michigan, next week — within the boundaries of the 13th congressional district, represented by first-term Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
The Detroit metro region includes a large Muslim population, and Tlaib — together with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — is the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.
Accordingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press statement on Thursday asking for CNN’s debate moderators to ask about the “Muslim Travel Ban” and President Donald Trump’s cap on the number of refugees.*
But given Tlaib’s extreme anti-Israel rhetoric, some of which has arguably crossed the line into antisemitism, CNN might do better to ask about the Democratic Party’s failure to address the rise of antisemitism in its midst.
Here is a summary of Tlaib’s record:
- Opposing Israel’s right to exist: Tlaib does not believe Israel has a right to exist. She advocates for a “one-state solution” in which a Palestinian state would replace Israel. The Jewish state is the only state in the world that Talib wants to dismantle. Her position cost her the support of far-left J Street, which generally opposes Israel but prefers to maintain the façade of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Accusing pro-Israel members of Congress of dual loyalty: In January, Tlaib tweeted that Senators who supported a pro-Israel bill “forgot what country they represent.” The remark evoked of antisemitic themes of “dual loyalty” — that is, the idea that Jews are not patriotic, or that support for Israel detracts from love for America. The American Jewish Committee tweeted a photo of Tlaib wrapping herself in the Palestinian flag.
- Saying the Holocaust gave her a “calming feeling”: Tlaib told an interviewer that the Holocaust gave her a “calming feeling” because Palestinians had allowed “a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.” The opposite was true: Palestinians wanted Jewish refugees excluded, and Palestinian leader Hajj Amin al-Husseini collaborated with the Nazis.
- Comparing border facilities to “concentration camps”: Earlier this month, Tlaib endorsed the claim by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that the U.S. is running “concentration camps” along the border with Mexico, a claim that noted legal scholar (and Democrat) Alan Dershowitz has said is a form of Holocaust denial. Both the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial have opposed the comparison.
- Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany: Tlaib, Omar, and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) introduced a bill this month defending the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement — which critics consider antisemitic because it singles out the Jewish state, ignoring Palestinian terror and the numerous tyrannical regimes in the region. Tlaib likened anti-Israel BDS to the boycott of Nazi Germans. (An anti-BDS bill ultimately passed 398-17.)
Much of Tlaib’s antisemitism echoes themes that are unfortunately prevalent within the anti-Israel movement. Last year, after her primary win, she retweeted a supporter who declared: “There has never been a fight for justice that Rashida has shied away from. The first fight was for Palestine, always Palestine.”
Of group of Jews, however, has Tlaib’s affection: If Not Now, a fringe organization that is vehemently anti-Israel.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
*As Breitbart news has noted:
In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).
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