Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, accused “right wing media” Tuesday of picking on her for being Muslim after she was slammed for hosting a pro-Hezbollah activist at her congressional swearing-in ceremony in Detroit.
“Right wing media targeting me again rather than focusing on the President’s reckless government shutdown,” tweeted Ms. Tlaib. “Yes, I am Muslim and Palestinian. Get over it.”Her Tuesday tweet came a day after a rash of stories about Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, who posted photos of himself and Ms. Tlaib at her Saturday ceremony and said he attended a “private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country.”
Mr. Hamideh, co-founder of Al-Awda, which means “right of return,” has declared that Israel has no right to exist, blasted “Criminal Zionists,” and praised Hezbollah leaders such as convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar, calling him a “legendary Hezbollah martyr.”
Kuntar, who was killed in a December 2015 explosion in Damascus, was convicted of murder and terrorism in the 1979 deaths of four Israelis. Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist group by the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Israel and the Arab League.
Critics accused Ms. Tlaib of using conservative media outlets as scapegoats and leveraging her religion to escape criticism.
No one is bothered by your religion. They’re bothered by your rank anti-Semitism and your association with literal terrorists who spend their days devising ways to murder Jews. https://t.co/zZhVEP46dm
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 16, 2019
Right wing media targeting me again rather than focusing on the President’s reckless government shutdown. Yes, I am Muslim and Palestinian. Get over it. Focus on the human impact of this disaster. #EndTheShutdown
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 15, 2019
I don’t give a shit that you’re Muslim and Palestine. I give a shit that you’re inviting Hezbollah supporters to dinner. https://t.co/LgimbPx2ba https://t.co/zaB6hqzWyO
– Alex VanNess (@thealexvanness) January 16, 2019
The episode was covered primarily by Jewish and right-tilting media, prompting some commenters to blast mainstream media outlets for ignoring the congresswoman’s connection to Mr. Hamideh.
A number of pro-Israel groups raised alarm about Ms. Tlaib’s association with Mr. Abbas, including Stand With Us, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
“JDCA stands unequivocally against Abbas Hamideh’s radical record and his extremist anti-Israel views,” said the group’s Monday statement, which added that “we urge her to make clear where she stands with regard to Abbas Hamideh.”
Ms. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress in November.
In office for less than two weeks, Ms. Tlaib has already drawn headlines for calling President Trump a “motherf—-r,” endorsing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, backing a one-state solution, and featuring a map in her office with a “Palestine” sticky note over Israel.
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