(January 14, 2019 / JNS) Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) met with Abbas Hamideh, a Palestinian activist who has said that Israel is a “terrorist entity,” over the weekend.
“I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country. #Palestine #TweetYourThobe #RashidaTlaib,” Hamideh tweeted.
I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterwards with the entire family, friends and activists across the country. #Palestine #TweetYourThobe #RashidaTlaib pic.twitter.com/caJPN12ODX
— Abbas Hamideh (@Resistance48) January 12, 2019
Hamideh, executive director of the U.S.-based Palestine Right to Return Coalition, has equated Zionists to Nazis, said Israel has a “delusional ISIS-like ideology” and labeled the nation’s founding a “crime.”
The meeting on Saturday sparked condemnation from the pro-Israel community.
“Unfortunately, we really aren’t surprised. Tlaib is turning out to be the exact person we were warning she is. What is perhaps the worst part about this is, Democrats won’t do a single thing about it, nor will Democratic Jewish groups,” Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss told JNS. “And it’s all because they’re afraid to stand up to their rabidly anti-Israel, far-left base.”
However, the Jewish Democratic Council of America slammed Tlaib and Hamideh.
“JDCA stands unequivocally against Abbas Hamideh’s radical record and his extremist anti-Israel views which should be condemned by all,” the organization told JNS. “Since August of last year, JDCA has repeatedly stated our strong policy disagreements with Rep. Rashida Tlaib and we urge her to make clear where she stands with regard to Abbas Hamideh.”
Max Samarov, StandWithUs executive director of research and campus strategy, told JNS: “It is disturbing that a member of Congress would pose with an extremist who glorified child murderer Samir Kuntar as a ‘legendary Hezbollah martyr.’ Political leaders should not associate with racists or supporters of terrorism.”
Christians United for Israel “has decided that we are not going to dignify Rep. Tlaib’s steady drumbeat of appalling statements and actions with a response,” spokesperson Ari Morgenstern told JNS.
Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS that his organization “condemns Rashida Tlaib for meeting with a fellow anti-Semite seeking Israel’s destruction, Abbas Hamideh, founder of Al-Awda–The Palestine Right of Return Coalition. This [is] further evidence of her hatred of Jews and the State of Israel. Tlaib supports BDS and openly calls for the replacement of Israel by an Arab-dominated state, thus seeking to deny Jews the sovereign independence she demands for Palestinian Arabs. She lies about Israel, claiming it discriminates against those ‘darker skinned.’ ”
“The ZOA urges Democratic Congressional leaders Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats to condemn Tlaib for her vicious anti-Israel words and deeds,” he added.
Last week, in response to a bill in the Senate that includes combating the anti-Israel BDS movement, Tlaib attacked Republican lawmakers and opponents of BDS by tweeting: “They forgot what country they represent.”
She continued, “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”