Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was in no celebratory mood following President Donald Trump’s announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached a historic agreement to normalize ties between the two countries, marking a breakthrough in the Middle East peace process.
“We won’t be fooled by another Trump/Netanyahu deal,” Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, wrote on social media. “We won’t celebrate Netanyahu for not stealing land he already controls in exchange for a sweetheart business deal. The heart of the issue has never been planned, formal annexation, but ongoing, devastating apartheid.”
The focus needs to be on promoting solidarity between Palestinians & Israelis who are joining together in struggle to end an apartheid system. We must stand with the people.
This Trump/Netanyahu deal will not alleviate Palestinian suffering—it will further normalize it.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 13, 2020
“The focus needs to be on promoting solidarity between Palestinians & Israelis who are joining together in struggle to end an apartheid system,” the far-left “Squad” member added. “We must stand with the people. This Trump/Netanyahu deal will not alleviate Palestinian suffering—it will further normalize it.”
Tlaib’s opposition to the deal comes as no surprise. The Michigan Democrat is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which urges for blacklisting of products made in the Jewish state.
Tlaib has previously come under fire for trafficking in antisemitism, including accusing pro-Israel Americans of dual loyalty. In 2019, Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) were barred from entering Israel ahead of their planned trip. Later, the Jewish state offered Tlaib to visit her grandmother in West Bank, citing humanitarian purposes, but the lawmaker turned down the olive branch gesture.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed Thursday to full normalization of relations, with Israel suspending its efforts to annex parts of the West Bank.
The agreement was finalized during a phone call between President Donald Trump; Israeli Prime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates.
A White House statement said the agreement will “advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region.”
Tucked into the announcement was an agreement that Israel will “suspend” West Bank annexation, which was part of Trump’s Middle East peace plan. Netanyahu had campaigned during Israeli elections on annexing portions of the West Bank.
The announcement said the countries will focus on “expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.”
The UPI contributed to this report.