Israeli media is reporting that as part of a 20 September 2022 “Virtual Palestine Advocacy Day,” US Representative Rashida Tlaib (D‑MI) asserted that nobody can call themselves “progressive” and support “Israel’s apartheid government” at the same time. According to a Times of Israel article:
September 22, 2022 “I want you all to know that among progressives, it’s become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government, and we will continue to push back and not accept that you are progressive except for Palestine,” Tlaib said in an online forum organized by American Muslims for Palestine.
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Tlaib’s comments were criticized by fellow party members, with Democratic New York Congressman Jerry Nadler saying he “fundamentally” rejected the notion of her remarks. This is not the first time Tlaib has drawn criticism over her remarks. In August 2021, American Jewish leaders accused her of making antisemitic comments when she alluded to people “behind the curtain” exploiting “the rest of us” from Gaza to Detroit.
The live-streamed panel was part of a 19–24 September 2022 lobbying event that was co-sponsored by the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) and the Hamas support infrastructure in the US. It was organized by the Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJPA), the AMP’s own affiliated political advocacy group in Washington, DC. A report by the Anti-Defamation League describes the AMP as “the leading organization providing “anti-Zionist” training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the country. The “Virtual Palestine Advocacy Days” included advocacy training sessions, online plenaries, and congressional meetings with Members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers. In total, more than 800 people registered for the event. AJPA said that registrants had met with “over 130 Congressional offices” and that, as a result, a bill that would limit US assistance to Israel and establish reporting requirements related to Israel’s activities in the West Bank had gained 19 new co-sponsors.
Several Democrat Representatives made speaking appearances, including:
- Congressman André Carson, the US Representative for Indiana’s 7th District and with a history of extensive ties to the GMB
- Marie Newman, the US Representative for Illinois’s 3rd District, with a history of associating with Hamas support organizations. Newman has also said that Israel endangered itself with “unprovoked” military attacks.
- Congresswoman Betty McCollum, representing Minnesota’s 4th District in the United States House of Representatives. In November 2020, McCollum participated in an AMP conference with several GMB and Hamas support network leaders.
- Congresswoman Judy Chu, representing California’s 27th District in the United States House of Representatives
Other contributors included AMP Executive Director Osama Abuirshaid, a board member of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group of US Muslim organizations comprised almost solely of elements of the GMB in the US. Also participating was Huwaida Arraf, another Palestinian-American activist who helped plan and who participated in the June 2010 flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
In July 2022, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that a 2020 campaign fund-raiser held on behalf of Congresswoman Cori Bush (D‑MO) had been hosted by a pro-Palestinian activist with a history of anti-Semitism and past leadership positions in AMP-Missouri.
In December 2020, we reported that Tlaib was one of three US Congresswomen who participated in an AMP virtual conference titled “Against All Odds: Palestine Beyond 2020.