By Carol Rushton
With so much going on in our country right now, it is hard to keep up with everything. This is why you might have missed that two Muslim women elected to the House of Representatives, one in Minnesota and one in Michigan. Both are Democrats, both are unabashedly anti-Semitic Muslims, and both are very proud of it.
Rashida Tliab was elected in Michigan’s 13 congressional district, and Ilhan Omar is representing Minnesota’s heavily Jewish 5th congressional district. Yes, that’s right – a very heavily Jewish district in Minnesota. True, Tliab and Omar are not exactly household names right now, but you need to know who they are and what they believe.
In a wide-ranging interview given to In These Times in 2018, Tliab openly proclaimed herself a Democratic Socialist – which is just the new way of saying you’re a Socialist. Among advocating for universal healthcare, opposing ICE, wanting to abolish our military on the premise that the Defense Department is “a cesspool for corporations to make money,” and stating Americans were dying from famine – I’m not kidding – Tliab had no problem with revealing her hatred for Israel and her support of the BDS Movement – Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction.
The following are some of her anti-Semitic comments in the article, “Rashida Tlaib on Democrat Socialism and Why She Supports the Palestinian Right of Return” published by the In These Times website on August 14, 2018 (http://inthesetimes.com/article/21383/rashida-tlaib-democratic-socialism-palestine-israel-michigan, accessed February 11, 2019).
On accepting campaign donations from J Street, a very anti-Israel organization:
“I knew we weren’t going to agree on a number of stances. They didn’t ask me to waver once.
“Americans should not be aiding any country that doesn’t support human rights. I’ve been very clear. I will not support racist countries that pick and choose who gets access to justice. My grandmother shouldn’t be denied access or considered less human because she is Palestinian . . . Seeing the unequal treatment in Israel, in the different colored license plates for Palestinians . . . My social justice and passion for human rights was birthed in Palestine. My grandfather was shot 11 times – and he survived.
.” . . Many [Israelis] are marching, saying no to Netanyahu’s apartheid policies . . . I do not support aid to a Netanyahu Israel and I’m pro-humanity. I think that’s why J street [supported me].”
As I stated in my book, Understanding Israel and the Middle East, and in numerous articles, Israel is not guilty of apartheid. Arabs in Israel have Israeli citizenship, have the right to own and operate businesses, own property, vote, for political parties and run in general elections, serve in the Israeli military and in local police departments, and have freedom of religion, rights that Jews in hostile Arab/Muslim countries do not have. One thing that is not talked about very much is that in Israel Arabs have the freedom to sell their property to anyone – including a Jew – while the PLO, Hamas, and other groups have made selling property to a Jew a crime punishable by death.
As far as Tliab’s grandfather is concerned, she doesn’t discuss the circumstances in which he was shot 11 times. Was he standing innocently on a street corner, minding his own business when an Israeli soldier came up and shot him? Was her grandfather throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers or in the middle of committing a terrorist attack when he was shot? We don’t know because Tliab doesn’t provide any of the details, but the implication that she makes is very clear – her grandfather was shot by the Israeli military unjustly.
On the Right of Return for “Palestinians”:
“I support right of return absolutely. I have family that left [Palestine] in 1967. They left, took their keys with them. They thought they could come back, and they’ve never been back. My uncle would tear up because he couldn’t believe he couldn’t go back. He had to raise his kids in Jordan.
“You don’t have equal access. Separate but equal does not work.”
Again, Tliab doesn’t provide any details of the exact situation of her family members. Did they live in Jerusalem? In Judea and Samaria (West Bank)? Why did they leave? Why couldn’t they come back?
Notice that Tliab is not talking about 1948-1949 in which Arab leaders told Israeli Arabs to leave Israel because they would be back in a few days after they wiped the fledgling Jewish state off the earth. She says her family members left in 1967, presumably during or immediately after the Six Day War. Tliab also fails to point out the numerous Arab cities in Judea and Samaria, like Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya or more that her family members could have settled in without relocating all the way to Jordan.
Her last statement doesn’t make sense. Arabs have access to any place they want to go to in Israel. I have no idea what she is talking about.
On the BDS Movement:
“I’m an ACLU card member. I stand by the rights of people who support BDS. Allow the students to be a part of the movement. I am so proud of the Center for Constitutional Rights in support of student movements for BDS. If you don’t support freedom of speech, you’re in the wrong country.”
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is a very anti-Israel movement, especially popular on American college and university campuses. Boycott means pressuring individuals and groups, especially famous music groups, musicians, actors, and artists in any field to not perform or even visit the Jewish state. Divestment advocates individuals, companies, corporations, churches, ministries, groups, and anyone who supports Israel or has any business ties to Israel to divest themselves of their investments and/or business ties in order to hurt Israel financially. Sanctions means supporting laws, resolutions – like UN resolutions, and any other avenue to punish Israel for basically daring to have the right to exist.
You can tell where I stand on this issue.
On whether Tliab supports a two-state solution:
“One state. It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work. I’m only 42 years old but my teachers were of that generation that marched with Martin Luther King. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work. Even though we continue the struggle in the United States, we have a better chance to integrate. My grandfather said, ‘I don’t understand, we were doing so good. My neighborhood, Arab-Jew. We picked olives together. Why now do they want to be over me?’ ‘You did nothing wrong,’ I told him.”
I feel the same way. Equality isn’t based on faith.
The United States is a safe haven for anyone who needs to be protected. I can see Israel moving in that direction. The only way to feel safe is when you look across the table and say they deserve to feel safe in their own country,
When Tliab talks about a one-state solution, she is advocating for an Arab state from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. There is no Israel, and there are no Jews. As for the rest of it, it is incoherent dribble. In Israel, Muslims are just as equally protected under the law as are the Jews and Christians in Israel who have citizenship. No one in Israel advocates Muslims who were born in Israel having to convert to Judaism to obtain Israeli citizenship.
Ilhan Omar is no better. The website for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz revealed Omar’s support for the BDS Movement, something she successfully hid from the Jews who voted for. “Muslim Trailblazer Ilhan Omar Admits She Backs BDS – Now That Election Is Over” published on November 14, 2018 cited the website MuslimGirl as the source for Omar’s support of the BDS Movement.
MuslimGirl.com article about Omar does not give an exact date for its publication, only that it was published 3 months ago as of February 11, 2019 (http://muslimgirl.com/50283/ilhan-omar-why-advocating-for-palestine-is-not-anti-semitic/). “Ilhan Omar: Why Advocating for Palestine Is Not Anti-Semitic” by Azmia states that Omar’s campaign admitted that Omar “believes in and supports the BDS movement, and has fought to make sure people’s right to support it isn’t criminalized. She does however, have reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” The article goes on to say:
Her campaign confirmed that Congresswoman-elect Omar voted against an anti-BDS bill in Minnesota. At the time, she spoke passionately about how BDS worked in South Africa, as told to her by her grandfather. Of her vote, Omar said, “I don’t want to be part of a vote that limits the ability of people to fight towards that justice and peace.”
Prior to the November 2018 election, Omar had participated in a primary debate at the Beit El Synagogue at which she said that the BDS Movement was “not helpful in getting that two-state solution” (November 14, 2018, “Muslim Trailblazer Ilhan Omar Admits She Backs BDS – Now That Election Is over,” Haaretz.com, https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/muslim-trailblazer-ilhan-omar-admits-she-backs-bds-1.6654634, accessed February 11, 2019).
The same Ha’aretz article reported that when Omar was confronted with these opposing statements by Lonny Goldsmith, editor of a TC Jewfolk, a Minnesota Jewish News organization, Omar responded:
“My position has always been the same. I believe and support the BDS movement, and have fought to make sure people’s right to support it isn’t criminalized, re: my vote against the Anti-BDS bill. I do however, have reservations on effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution. Which is what I believe I said at the forum.”
The MuslimGirl website also published some of Omar’s previous tweets about Israel, which everyone should find very interesting. This is one of her tweets from November 16, 2012. “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doing of Israel. #Gaza # Palestine #Israel”
And then there is this little gem from May 31, 2018, responding to someone who called her a Jew hater. “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness.”
The reaction of Omar’s new Jewish constituents in Minnesota has been mixed. Some have called her comments “troubling” while others have supported her. I lived in Minnesota for 6 years between 1985 and 1991 and found it very, very liberal politically. It has only become even more liberal since that time. Because of this, I confidently predict no matter what she says or does, Omar will be reelected in 2020 by her Jewish constituents.
I wish I could say that the elections of such openly, radical anti-Semites as Tliab and Omar were anomalies. But judging from the elections of other far-left radicals such as Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez in 2018, every pro-Israel American should be very concerned about the future of the United States and its support of Israel.