TEL AVIV – The Jewish Democratic Council of America condemned one of its candidates for Congress, a Palestinian-American woman from Detroit, after she said she would “absolutely” oppose military aid to Israel if elected.
Rashida Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, won her district’s Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th Congressional district on August 7. The area has one of the largest Muslim and Arab-American communities in the United States. She is the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.
Tlaib is the default winner since no one ran in the Republican primary.
On Monday, Tlaib told Britain’s Channel 4 News in answer to the question of whether she would vote against aid to Israel, “Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice. For me U.S. aid should be leverage.”
The JDCA said that aid to Israel remains a bipartisan issue in Congress since it is “mutually beneficial” to both Israel and the U.S.
“Threatening to cut military assistance to Israel is inconsistent with the values of the Democratic Party and the American people,” a statement by the group said.
In her interview, Tlaib seemed to call out Israel for “injustice,” but did not make clear what she was referring to.
“I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice,” she added.
“So much is about, ‘Let’s choose a side,’” she continued. “I am for making sure that every single person there has every right to thrive.”
Tlaib then drew comparisons between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the civil rights movement in the U.S. She then claimed bizarrely that modern day Detroit is a “reminder” of the civil rights movement.
“I grew up in Detroit where every single corner is a reminder of the civil rights movement,” Tlaib responded when questioned about her views on the conflict.
Tlaib’s comparison to the original civil rights movement is entirely unfounded. Whereas African Americans were fighting for equal rights, Israel’s Basic Law enshrines equal rights for all its citizens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or any other factor. Those rights run the gamut from employment to medical care, housing, and education. As such, Israel’s Arab minority is represented in every sector of society; there are Arab Supreme Court justices and there are Arab parties in the Knesset.