Rashida Tlaib: You Can’t Be Progressive and Pro-Israel

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Muslim American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was slammed by House Democrats on Wednesday for claiming that supporting “Israel’s apartheid government” is incompatible with “progressive values.”

“I want you all to know that among progressives, it’s become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government, and we will continue to push back and not accept that you are progressive except for Palestine,” Tlaib said during an online forum organized by “American Muslims for Palestine” and “Americans for Justice in Palestine Action.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, said in response: “In one sentence, Rep. Rashida simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces even as she doubles down on her antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a longtime progressive, told the Jewish Insider the real incompatibility with progressive values is “creating a litmus test that would exclude the Jewish community from the progressive movement.”

New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, who is Tlaib’s fellow member at the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted: “I fundamentally reject the notion that one cannot support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and be a progressive.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) wrote: “The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by [Tlaib] is nothing short of antisemitic,” Wasserman Schultz wrote on Twitter. “Proud progressives do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Suggesting otherwise is shameful and dangerous.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) who has championed Israel’s LGBT rights and who has described himself as the embodiment of a pro-Israel progressive, wrote: “There’s nothing progressive about advocating for the end of Israel as a Jewish State,” he said on Twitter. “Nothing progressive about opposing the Abraham Accords, which promotes peace. Nothing progressive about opposing Iron Dome, which protects civilians from indiscriminate rocket fire.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who is retiring, said support for Israel constituted a progressive value.

“There are progressive activists, progressive students, and progressive Members of Congress whose support of democratic Israel is fundamentally a part of their progressive values… We will not be silenced,” he wrote on Twitter.

Deutch’s successor Jared Moskowitz, said: “I want you all to know that among progressives, it becomes clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values if you are an antisemite.”

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