Tlaib to Attend Event With Pro-BDS Group Instead of Visiting Israel

Tlaib was previously denied entry to Israel in part due to support for BDS

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
August 16, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) will attend an event with a group that supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel one day after being denied entry into Israel in part due to her support of BDS.

Israeli officials later decided to allow Tlaib to enter for humanitarian purposes to see her grandmother, but the congresswoman said she would not travel there because of its "racist treatment" of her. Instead, Tlaib will attend a Shabbat service hosted by Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-BDS organization, according to The Atlantic's Emma Green.

"Rashida Tlaib will be spending tonight at a Shabbat gathering w/ Jewish Voices for Peace. It's a notable choice of Jewish ally for this moment: an org that supports BDS, is fairly marginal in the Jewish institutional world, + is widely seen as anti-Israel in that world," Green tweeted.

Jewish Voice for Peace supports the BDS movement, and has labeled Israel an "apartheid" state.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained on Thursday that Tlaib's commitment to BDS was one of the reasons she and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) were initially denied entry to Israel. Both representatives have a history of anti-Israel activism and anti-Semitic controversies, including spreading anti-Semitic tropes such as "dual loyalty" accusations against Americans who back Israel.

Netanyahu tweeted that "the itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it," and he pointed out that there trip was funded by the Palestinian organization Miftah, "an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel."

He added that their itinerary "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy."

Miftah has a history of anti-Semitism beyond its support of BDS. Among other things, Miftah has published articles that accuse Jews of using Christian blood for Passover and that spread neo-Nazi writings about Jewish control of the media.