Democrats slam ‘antisemitic’ Tlaib for claiming progressives cannot support ‘apartheid’ Israel

House Democrats accused the Michigan congresswoman of antisemitism.  

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Several House Democrats on Wednesday slammed Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over her claim that supporting “Israel’s apartheid government” is incompatible with “progressive values.”

“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 hosted by “American Muslims for Palestine” and “Americans for Justice in Palestine Action.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) accused Tlaib of antisemitism.

“The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by [Tlaib] is nothing short of antisemitic,” Wasserman Schultz wrote on Twitter. “Proud progressives do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Suggesting otherwise is shameful and dangerous.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, tweeted, “In one sentence, Rep. Rashida simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces even as she doubles down on her antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a long-serving member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, echoed Greenblatt, telling the Jewish Insider that the real incompatibility with progressive values is “creating a litmus test that would exclude the Jewish community from the progressive movement.”

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New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, who is Tlaib’s fellow member at the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted: “I fundamentally reject the notion that one cannot support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and be a progressive.” Nadler, who is Jewish, also noted he has been critical of “some of the policies and actions” of the Israeli government.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) who is gay and who has hailed LGBTQ rights in Israel, condemned Tlaib’s views.

“There’s nothing progressive about advocating for the end of Israel as a Jewish State,” he said on Twitter. “Nothing progressive about opposing the Abraham Accords, which promotes peace. Nothing progressive about opposing Iron Dome, which protects civilians from indiscriminate rocket fire.”

Outgoing Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said support for Israel was a progressive value in and of itself.

“There are progressive activists, progressive students, and progressive Members of Congress whose support of democratic Israel is fundamentally a part of their progressive values… We will not be silenced,” he wrote on Twitter.

Deutch’s replacement Jared Moskowitz, who is also Jewish, turned Tlaib’s words on their head.

“I want you all to know that among progressives, it becomes clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values if you are an antisemite,” he said on Twitter.