Tlaib Still Posing With Anti-Semitic Campaign Fundraiser

Rep. Rashida Tlaib
Rep. Rashida Tlaib / Getty Images
June 12, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich,) has continued to attend events and pose for pictures with a campaign fundraiser who has spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories using a Facebook account which he has also used to interact with the freshman Congresswoman.

The Palestinian-American businessman Maher Abdel-qader was a top fundraiser for Tlaib in her 2018 run and helped organize events to raise her national profile. Abdel-qader came under fire in January when the Daily Caller revealed his long history of promoting anti-Semitism online.

Abdel-qader created a Facebook group called "Palestinian American Congress," in which members posted anti-Semitic content, Holocaust denials, and speculations that Israelis are committing a Holocaust against Palestinians. Abdel-qader added Tlaib to the group in February 2018, after she announced her intention to run for Congress.

Abdel-qader was the sole moderator of the group, and referred to himself as the "Israeli ISIS." He claimed that Israel runs "concentration camps" and that Jews are not actually Jewish, and, in addition, secretly controlled the media. He also shared a video which called Jews "Satanic," and questioned whether six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

After the Caller revealed Abdel-qader's anti-Semitism, he apologized for his posts and deleted them.

But since February, Abdel-qader has resumed posting anti-Semitic claims in the Facebook group and Tlaib has continued associating with him in public. On June 2, he posted a picture with the statement that America has given up its "sovereignty" to Israel. Two days later, he posted that the "Zionist lobby" is buying the "blind loyalty" of American politicians.

"Israel, the world is wise to your bullshit. Your cries of 'anti-Semitism' don't work anymore," Abedel-qader posted in a meme to Facebook that same week.

In another meme, which he posted on June 8, says, "Someone once asked me if I am anti-Semitic. I replied, 'Not at all, I like Palestinian people!'"

At the same time, however, Abdel-qader posed with Tlaib for photos at two events between April and May this year, according to his Instagram account.

And Tlaib isn't the only lawmaker with whom Abdel-qader has interacted: in February, he posted two photos of himself with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), who has also faced accusations of anti-Semitism since her election. Additionally, Abdel-qader shared an Arabic-language news article that showed him standing alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) campaign manager.

Both Tlaib and Omar have been strident anti-Israel voices in Congress, with Tlaib supporting a trip to the West Bank to compete with AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel.