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“Squad” Member Says US Aid to Israel Should Go to Homelessness

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August 4, 2021
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) speaks about the end of the eviction moratorium at the U.S. Capitol on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

A clip of Representative Cori Bush (D-MO), a member of “The Squad,” giving a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives suggesting that United States aid to Israel should be redirected toward combating homelessness went viral on Twitter on August 4.

Bush was paying homage to Bassem Masri, a Palestinian activist who died in 2018. Bush said that Masri was among those protesting the “state-sanctioned murder” of Michael Brown in 2014 and that she learned that “the same equipment that they used to brutalize us is the same equipment that we send to the Israeli military to police and brutalize Palestinians.” She later added that the “St. Louis community sent me here to save lives,” meaning that “we oppose our money going to fund militarized policing, occupation, systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war, we are anti-occupation, and we are anti-apartheid, period.

“If this body is looking for something productive to do with $3 million instead of funding a military that polices and kills Palestinians, I have some communities in St. Louis city and in St. Louis County where that money can go, where we desperately need investment, where we are hurting, where we need help. Let us prioritize funding there, prioritize funding life, not destruction.”

Writer Emily Schrader shared a clip of Bush’s May speech in an August 4 tweet, arguing that Bush blamed “the Jews for homelessness in St. Louis… And we wonder why antisemitism is rising. Elected officials are openly scapegoating Jews.”

Writer and activist Yoni Michanie similarly tweeted, “A politician blames poverty and economic despair in the United States on the world’s only Jewish state. We’ve seen this before. We know where it leads.”

 

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal that Bush’s remarks as well as Tlaib’s “behind the curtain” comments on August 1 show that “the talking points are clear: they use the nonexistent points of intersectionality to create nonexistent connections between different events. The goal is to demonize Israel, is to demonize any politician or public figure who’s ever been to Israel, it’s to imply that ‘Jewish money’ is in control and look who made all the big bucks off the coronavirus while you lost your job, etc. This is quintessentially the 21st century update of Scapegoating the Jews 101, and we know what that scapegoating led to in the 20th century.”

He added that Tlaib and Bush “have no business being on committees. They should be called out for the hatred that they have for their pernicious bias against our communities and against Israel, the ally of the United States. They need to be called out from the top of the Democratic Party.”

Stop Antisemitism noted in a tweet that Bush supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and aligns herself with former Women’s March, Inc. leader Linda Sarsour.

Zionist Organization of America National President Morton Klein called Bush an “ignorant bigot” in May. “You support $300 million going to Palestinian Authority which pays Arabs to murder Jews, names schools, streets and sports teams after Jew killers [and] refuses to have elections.”

Bush’s office did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

 

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