Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) said the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) is about criticizing the "racist policy" of Israel during a Sunday interview on CNN's State of the Union.
"So you talk about the hate agenda and there is criticism of you from fellow Democrats, especially for your support for the BDS movement … It's an anti-Israel movement," host Jake Tapper asked.
"Well it's criticizing the racist policy of Israel, and it's a boycott," Tlaib said.
Tlaib also had to be asked twice by Tapper about whether Israel has a right to exist.
"Do you think the Jewish people have the right to a state in the area where Israel exists now?" Tapper asked.
"I truly believe the state of Israel is—it exists, correct," Tlaib replied.
"But understand, does it exist in the detriment of inequality for the Palestinian people, the detriment of not moving forward in a peaceful resolution. We're never going to have peace, I truly believe, if separate but equal is the way they want to go. And I can tell you, I learned that from my African-American teachers in Detroit public schools who showed me what the pain of oppression looks like. We're not going to have peace if we don't understand that we are dehumanizing Palestinians every single day when we choose Israel over their rights," Tlaib continued.
"Yes or no, does Israel have a right to exist?" Tapper pressed.
"Of course, but just like Palestinians have a right to exist, Palestinians also have a right to human rights. We can't say one or the other. We have to say it in the same breath or we're not going to actually have a peaceful resolution," Tlaib said.
Tlaib supports the BDS movement against Israel, and suggested during a January debate over anti-BDS legislation that pro-Israel senators "forgot which country they represent." She has also expressed support for left-wing professor Marc Lamont Hill, who defended Palestinian violence against Israel and used a phrase often invoked by the terror group Hamas in calling for a "free Palestine from the river to the sea."
Last week, Tlaib likened the BDS movement to the American boycott of Nazi Germany.
BDS has been condemned as anti-Semitic by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and has links to Palestinian terrorist groups. The Anti-Defamation League describes BDS as a deceitful effort to undermine the Jewish state's existence.