Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib Says She Will 'Absolutely' Vote Against Aid to Israel

August 14, 2018

Rashida Tlaib, the recent winner of a Democratic primary in a Michigan district Republicans aren't even contesting, said she will "absolutely" vote against continued aid to Israel.

Asked during an interview with Great Britain's Channel 4 News whether she would vote against military aid to Israel when she goes to Congress, she said "absolutely."

"Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice," Tlaib said in a rambling response.

"U.S. aid should be leverage," she said. "If you're going to be a country that discriminates on somebody solely based on their faith, solely based on their skin color ... to me, that doesn't fit our value of our country."

"I will be using my position as a member of Congress to say no country, not one, should be able to get aid from us, the American people, who talk about justice and equality and stopping discrimination, to say a country can come and get aid from us when they still promote that kind of injustice that I saw in Detroit or in especially in my neighbors who went through the civil rights movement in Detroit and told me how it was to be able to be divided on buses, to be able to go to schools that were not of good quality."

"Those are the kind of things that I think I come with, and that lens that I feel like will change the conversation and will be moving closer to peace when we do talk about that."

Tlaib had previously danced around questions on whether she would support military aid to Israel and appears to have been pushed toward coming out with an answer by radical anti-Israel activists concerned she wasn't being hard enough on Israel.

Late last week Tlaib came under fire from anti-Israel activists for not being strong enough in her rhetoric against the Jewish State, with Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah asking, "Why does Rashida Tlaib support U.S. military aid to Israel?"

Abunimah pointed to Tlaib's ties to J Street, a liberal organization highly critical of Israel but described nonetheless as a "Zionist Israel lobby group" by Abunimah, as evidence that she can't be trusted "to be a strong voice for Palestinian rights."

Tlaib was also criticized for not coming out as a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

Tlaib responded by saying her "passion for justice was birthed" in her "beloved Falastine (Palestine)."

She also wrote, "an attack on me is an attack on Falastine."

A lengthy New York Times profile of Tlaib published on Tuesday makes no mention of Israel, even as it explains how Tlaib "attributes her political vision and sense of justice to her Palestinian heritage."

"She often references checkpoints around her relatives' homes near Ramallah in the West Bank and how they limit residents' access to health care and education," the Times writes.

The profile instead covered how Tlaib chose not to buy a Nestle water bottle at a Middle Eastern bakery because she is "not for the privatization of water."