To Tlaib trip organizer, murderers are ‘heroes’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s choice of the pro-terrorist group Miftah to run her Israel trip should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Source: Screenshot.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Source: Screenshot.
Moshe Phillips
Moshe Phillips is a commentator on Jewish affairs whose writings appear regularly in the American and Israeli press.  

First, they praised the terrorist who murdered a U.S. senator’s niece. Then they were chosen by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) to organize her now-canceled trip to Israel.

Tlaib’s outrageous choice of the pro-terrorist group Miftah to run her trip is a slap in the face of the United States Congress and deserves to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

The fact that she chose Miftah to organize her trip is no secret; it was widely reported by major news media. The problem is that nobody is explaining what Miftah really is. The New York Times, for example, reported only that Miftah is a group “that promotes ‘global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.’ ”

One of the “Palestinian realities” Miftah promotes awareness of is that the Palestinian Authority and its American supporters regard Palestinian Arab murderers of American citizens as heroes.

The official Miftah website features an essay by one of the group’s leaders, Johara Baker, profusely praising Dalal Mughrabi, the murderer of Gail Rubin, the niece of the late U.S. Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.).

Baker is not some minor figure at Miftah. At the time she wrote her article praising Mughrabi, she was identified as the group’s “director of the media and information department.” Elsewhere on the Miftah website, she is listed with other titles. Last year, she was one of Miftah’s representatives at a gathering to discuss “possible repercussions of the collapse of the international order on the Palestinian issue.”

Mughrabi was the leader of a PLO death squad that came ashore in northern Israel one morning in March 1978. Rubin, a nature photographer, was walking along the beach. Mughrabi shot her in the head.

Then Mughrabi and her gang hijacked an Israeli bus and carried out what is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Massacre. They slaughtered 37 Israelis in what remains the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history.

Baker’s article praising this mass-murderer, titled “Let Us Honor Our Own,” remains on the Miftah website to this day.

The article strongly defends the right of the Palestinian Authority to pay salaries to imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. Baker denounces Israel for objecting to such salaries, and for objecting to the P.A.’s policy of naming parks, streets and other venues after Mughrabi and other terrorists.

Here’s what she writes about Mughrabi:

“When Palestinians named a square after Dalal Al Mughrabi, a Palestinian fighter who was killed during a military operation against Israel in 1978, Israel was up in arms, claiming the Palestinians should not be allowed to name streets or squares after ‘terrorists.’ … Countries should not interfere in the internal affairs of others. If the Palestinians want to name a street after one of their national heroes, regardless of how this person is perceived by Israel, that is their business.”

So, the murderer of a U.S. senator’s niece is “a Palestinian fighter” and a “hero.” Baker’s use of quotation marks around the word “terrorist” makes it clear that she rejects that description. To Baker, the murders Mughrabi carried out were a “military operation.”

Shooting an American Jewish nature photographer in the head was a “military operation,” and the shooter was a “hero.”

That’s the group Tlaib put in charge of her proposed trip to Israel. The House Ethics Committee should immediately investigate this sordid episode. It should insist that Tlaib explain the nature of her relationship with Miftah and the reasons behind her decision to embrace those who praise the murderer of a member of a U.S. senator’s family.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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