December 10, 2018

Progressive Zionists of the CA Democrat Party ‘Deeply Disappointed’ in Rashida Tlaib’s Support for BDS

FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib canvasses a neighborhood before Election Day in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party told the Journal that they were “deeply disappointed” in Congresswoman-Elect Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement on Monday.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman to be elected to Congress, came out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), and told The Intercept, “I personally support the BDS movement” because of “issues like the racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.”

The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party told the Journal that they’re “deeply disappointed and troubled by Rashida Tlaib’s support of BDS and of one-state solution.”

“They are inconsistent with the platform of the Democratic Party, which clearly opposes BDS and supports a just peace, a two-state solution, and the safety, dignity, and sovereignty of Israelis and Palestinians,” they said. “We hope that Congresswoman Tlaib is willing to engage with people within and outside of her district as well as other representatives in the House who are troubled by her extreme views.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in an emailed statement that Tlaib should realize that “Germany has deemed BDS anti-Semitic.”

“If Congresswoman-elect Tlaib wants to help bring peace and reconciliation to the region she should stop embracing extremist campaigns that never help a single Palestinians, whose only goals are the demonization and de-legitimization of the Israel, America’s only reliable ally in the Middle East,” Cooper told the Journal. “If she chooses to promote such campaigns, she puts herself in the camp of those that seek the Jewish state’s demise.”

The Intercept’s report was focused on how Tlaib is substituting AIPAC’s annual trip to Israel for newly elected members of Congress with her own trip to the Palestinian territories to “highlight the inherent inequality of Israel’s system of military occupation in Palestinian territories, which Tlaib likens to what African-Americans in the United States endured in the Jim Crow era.”

StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein told the Journal while it’s “problematic” for Tlaib to support “a discriminatory, anti-Semitic campaign,” it is “even more troubling that she refuses to learn from facts-on-the-ground in Israel.”

“Perhaps she fears that those facts will get in the way of her strongly-held anti-Israel beliefs,” Rothstein added.

Maccabee Task Force executive director David Brog told the Journal in a statement that if Tlaib were to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority and take off her “ideological blinders,” she would learn “how wrong she is when she blames Israel – and only Israel – for this conflict, which is exactly what she’s doing by supporting BDS.”

“The Maccabee Task Force knows from the experience of bringing thousands of students to both Israel and the Palestinian territories that an unbiased visit to the region is the greatest antidote that there is to BDS,” Brog said.

On the other hand, groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) expressed support for Tlaib’s actions.

“Palestinian rights are being integrated into the broader progressive agenda,” JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson told The Intercept. “It’s becoming almost standard that if you support single-payer health care and climate justice, you’ll support Palestinian rights.”

Tlaib has previously come out against the idea of a two-state solution and supports cutting aid to Israel. When Tlaib won the race, she had the Palestinian flag draped around her shoulders before giving her victory speech.

Tlaib joins Congresswoman-Elect Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in announcing their support of the BDS movement after they won their respective elections.

AIPAC declined to comment on this story.