Rashida Tlaib: You can't hold progressive values, back Israel's apartheid gov't

Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib attends a pro-Palestinian protest in Dearborn, Michigan, US, May 16, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)

"We will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive, except for ‘Philistine’, any longer,” she said.

“I want you all to know that among progressives, it has become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government,” said Rashida Tlaib, US representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, during an online advocacy seminar held on Tuesday by Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), and co-sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). 

“We will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive, except for ‘Philistine,’ any longer.”

She spoke of “victories” that the anti-Israel movement has achieved “due to the work of all of you, and so many others that continue to speak truth to power. When we center our beliefs and our actions on the truth that all human life is precious, that every person deserves to live free of fear and have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

“The need to oppose Israel’s government’s apartheid rule is obvious. The path to freedom for Palestine is long and daunting, we must see through to its end. We owe it to not only Palestinians, [but] oppressed people all over the world who understand that our struggles are linked to one another.” 

Responses to Tlaib's comments

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, bashed Tlaib on Twitter, saying: “In one sentence, Tlaib 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. It’s absolutely reprehensible and does nothing to advance the cause of peace. We call on people of goodwill and leaders across the political spectrum to make clear that such antisemitism will not be tolerated.”

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