It used to be that you couldn’t find an elected lawmaker in Washington who would be anything but effusive in their insistence that Israel is a recognized, sovereign state that has every right to exist. Sometimes that insistence would be marked by criticism of this policy or that policy, sometimes it would be couched in anger over the so-called “occupation” of Palestinian territory, but it was never qualified.
Sadly, though, things have changed. With the arrival of two radical Muslims to Capitol Hill, criticism of Israel has strayed outside the lines. When you listen to Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib speak about Israel, they sound nearly indistinguishable from the terrorist propaganda trumpeted by the likes of Hamas.
Appearing on Jake Tapper’s CNN show this weekend, Tlaib was careful to say that Israel had a “right” to be there. But her endorsement of the Jewish nation was anything but unqualified.
“So you talk about the hate agenda and there is criticism of you from fellow Democrats for your support for the BDS movement for boycott, divest, sanctions, an anti-Israel movement,” Tapper said.
“Well it is anti…it is criticizing the racist policies of Israel and it is a boycott,” Tlaib replied. “I can tell you that all around college campuses, there are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all different kinds of backgrounds who are pushing back against racist policies in Israel because they see the human rights violations of children being detained. We all know that under Netanyahu’s regime, human rights violations have gotten worse.”
Tapper then asked her point blank: “Do you think the Jewish people have the right to a state in the area where Israel exists now?”
Tlaib began by simply stating a fact.
“I truly believe the state of Israel is…it exists, correct,” she said. “But understand, does it exist in the detriment of inequality for the Palestinian people? The detriment of not moving forward in a peaceful resolution? We’re never going to have peace, I truly believe, if separate but equal is the way they want to go. And I could tell you I learned that from my African-American teachers in Detroit public schools who showed me what the pain of oppression looks like. We’re not gonna have peace if we don’t understand that we are dehumanizing Palestinians every single day when we choose Israel over their rights.”
Correctly surmising that Tlaib had begged the question, Tapper said: “Yes or no, does Israel have a right to exist?”
“Of course,” she said before once again qualifying it: “But just like Palestinians have a right to exist. Palestinians also have a right to human rights. We can’t say one or the other. We have to say it in the same breath or we’re not gonna actually have a peaceful resolution.”
We can only hope that the people of Tlaib’s hometown district have enough sense to make her tenure in Congress a short one. The more this species of anti-Semitic, political jihadism stays in Washington, the more it will spread. That’s not good for Israel, nor for the United States.