Rashida Tlaib’s response to Biden secretary of state pick reignites charges of anti-Semitism

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib is facing new allegations of anti-Semitism after she expressed opposition to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s selection of Antony Blinken, who is Jewish, to be his secretary of state should he go on to be inaugurated as president.

Biden’s transition team said on Monday that Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s administration when he was also a foreign policy adviser for the then-vice president, would head up the State Department.

Over the weekend, as speculation that Biden would select Blinken to replace President Donald Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat of Palestinian heritage, responded after Faiz Shakir, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former campaign manager, called Blinken a “solid choice,” Fox News reported.

“So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice,” Tlaib, who has been accused often in the past of being anti-Semitic over her regular criticism of the Jewish state, wrote on Twitter.

Critics appeared baffled by Tlaib’s statement and suggested her real motivation for speaking out was because Blinken is Jewish.

“Biden names a Jew to his cabinet What’s Rashida’s response?! ‘Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!’ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred! That’s ALL yours!” Dov Hikind, founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, replied.

“You can just say you’re worried because he’s Jewish…”  the Republican Jewish Coalition added.

“The subtext: Blinken is Jewish so, of course, the leading anti-Semite in Congress just wants to ensure that the all-powerful Jew won’t suppress her right to condemn other all-powerful Jews,” said Seattle radio host Jason Rantz.

“Would she have said this if the nominee weren’t jewish?” Tablet Magazine associate editor Naom Blum wondered.

The following day, Tlaib took to Twitter again to criticize the Trump administration’s pro-Israel policies.

“Sec. Pompeo has moved to suppress BDS [Boycott, Divest, and Sanction], a peaceful protest movement protected by the 1st Amendment. I hope that Mr. Blinken and President-Elect Biden’s Administration will change course from Trump’s State Department & not target or suppress support of Palestinian human rights,” she wrote.

In recent days, Tlaib triggered Jewish criticism again after it was revealed that she would be participating in an event called “Dismantling Anti-Semitism, Winning Justice,” a panel discussion that features other critics of Israel including Prof. Marc Lamont Hill and writer Peter Beinart.

After she was first elected to Congress in 2018, Tlaib came under fire for being a member of a Facebook group, “Palestinian American Congress,” a forum where others frequently criticized Israel.

The founder of the group, Palestinian activist Maher Abdel-qader, was a fundraiser for Tlaib and organized many campaign events for her, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation uncovered.

“In January 2018, Abdel-qader shared an anti-Semitic video that claimed Jews aren’t actually Jewish, invented their historical claim to Israel and secretly control the media,” The DCNF reported.

“The video, which described Jews as ‘satanic,’ also questioned whether six million Jews actually died in the Holocaust,” the outlet added.

Also, Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour, who has regularly been accused of being anti-Semitic, was an early supporter of Tlaib as well, the outlet reported.

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Jon Dougherty

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