U.S. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said on Sunday that the BDS movement is about calling out what she labeled the “racist policy” of Israel.
“It’s criticizing the racist policy of Israel, and it’s a boycott,” said the freshman congresswoman on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked by host Jake Tapper about “criticism of you from fellow Democrats, especially for your support for the BDS movement … an anti-Israel movement.”
Tapper twice asked Tlaib if the State of Israel has a right to exist.
“I truly believe the State of Israel is—it exists, correct,” answered Tlaib.
“But understand, does it exist in the detriment of inequality for the Palestinian people, the detriment of not moving forward in a peaceful resolution. We’re never going to have peace, I truly believe, if separate but equal is the way they want to go. And I can tell you, I learned that from my African-American teachers in Detroit public schools who showed me what the pain of oppression looks like. We’re not going to have peace if we don’t understand that we are dehumanizing Palestinians every single day when we choose Israel over their rights,” she continued.
“Yes or no, does Israel have a right to exist?” asked Tapper.
“Of course, but just like Palestinians have a right to exist, Palestinians also have a right to human rights. We can’t say one or the other. We have to say it in the same breath, or we’re not going to actually have a peaceful resolution,” replied Tlaib.
Since entering the House of Representatives in January, Tlaib displayed a map with a note posted over Israel that reads “Palestine,” and has made controversial, anti-Israel remarks.
Shortly thereafter, she attacked Republican lawmakers and opponents of the anti-Israel BDS movement by saying “they forgot what country they represent.”
Moreover, Tlaib met with Hezbollah supporter Abbas Hamideh, who has said that Israel is a “terrorist entity,” even though the congresswoman said that “I do not agree with the statements brought to my attention.”
In May, she said that Palestinians enabled a “safe haven” for Jews after the Holocaust, thereby reiterating her support for a one-state solution.
Earlier this month, Tlaib slammed a House resolution, which passed last week as she was one of 17 members to vote against it, that condemns BDS, labeling the measure as a way “to silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians.”
“Our 1st Amd. right to free speech allows boycott of inhumane policies,” she continued. “This bill is unconstitutional.”
Finally, also earlier this month, Tlaib compared Israel’s “dehumanization and racist policies” to 19th-century segregation in the United States.
“There is continued dehumanization and racist policies by the State of Israel that violate international human rights, but also violate my core values of who I am as an American,” the freshman congresswoman told the left-wing outlet Jacobin, which published a Q&A with her on June 13.
“ ‘Separate but equal’ doesn’t work. I know that my ancestors were killed, died, uprooted from their land,” she continued. “That’s something that no one even wants to acknowledge that had to happen to create the State of Israel.”