WASHINGTON – J Street’s political action committee has withdrawn its endorsement of Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic nominee for a House seat in Michigan who backtracked her support for a two-state solution in recent days.
If elected to the House in November– as is expected– the Detroit-born Tlaib will become the first Palestinian-American woman to sit in the chamber. JStreetPac supported her candidacy throughout the primary in Michigan’s 13th Congressional district.
But after securing the nomination, Tlaib began questioning support for US military aid to Israel and the two-state solution, expressing in interviews a preference for a single state manifesting as Palestine – “one state,” she said, in which everyone has an equal vote.
A bipartisan majority in Congress has repeatedly endorsed a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states for two peoples: A Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine.
J Street, which advocates for this position, said that Tlaib’s stance in public interviews was reinforced in private consultations.
“After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy,” the left-leaning group said in a statement.
“JStreetPAC was created to demonstrate the wellspring of political support that exists for candidates who take pro-Israel, pro-peace positions, including support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” it continues.
“While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in the discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who come to the conclusion that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution and other core principles to which our organization is dedicated.”
The Jewish Democratic Council of America condemned Tlaib’s comments in a statement last week, indicating community-wide concern with the candidate’s remarks.
“One state. It has to be one state,” Tlaib said in an interview. “Separate but equal does not work. I’m only 42-years old but my teachers were of that generation that marched with Martin Luther King. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.”