Opinion: Two things I like about Rashida Tlaib

While I am not a member of the Rashida Harbi Tlaib fan club, her twisted logic has actually scored two points in my book, without her even noticing.

By Shmuel Sackett

Rashida Harbi Tlaib was born in 1976 and she is the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress. She is a Democrat (really??) and she represents the 13th district in the state of Michigan (which makes her an official ‘michiganer‘)! Her district includes the western half of Detroit and much of the Downriver area.

Prior to joining Congress, she served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives. She was first elected there in 2008 and was reelected in 2010 and in 2012. In 2014 she ran unsuccessfully for the Michigan Senate and in 2018 she was elected to Congress.

Congresswoman Tlaib strongly opposes the State of Israel. She advocates for the “right of return” for Palestinians, supports the BDS and calls Israel “an apartheid state.” Nevertheless, there are two things she says that I want you to focus on and agree with… even though the reasons why she says them are completely distorted.

Tlaib favors a one-state solution. She was recently quoted as saying, “This whole idea of a two-state solution doesn’t work.” Trust me that I know exactly what she means by that comment, nevertheless, it was music to my ears. Almost every politician in Washington today talks two-states and so AIPAC and NORPAC (non-partisan groups promoting U.S.-Israel relations) and even the majority of the Knesset. How sweet it was to hear Rashida Tlaib actually come out against it.

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Another position of hers is the fact that she opposes U.S. financial aid to Israel. She feels that this will weaken Israel, when – in reality – the complete opposite will happen! But again, who cares why she is saying it? I love the fact that a United States congresswoman is calling for the end of U.S. financial aid to Israel because that is exactly what Israel needs!

No political correctness

Let’s begin with her first statement regarding the one-state solution. Israeli leaders need to start talking this way and to stop their irrational talk about “two states for two nations.” There are no “two states” and there are definitely no “two nations.” There is one Jewish nation, who was given one Land, in which we must learn the one Torah and serve the one God. Period. No discussions, no compromises and no political correctness. That’s the truth. Believe it, live it and then say it to the world.

As far as U.S. financial aid is concerned, this is a long and deep discussion, but allow me to give a super-short summary.

The financial aid comes to 1% of Israel’s GDP. That is correct… just 1%, so we can definitely live without it. On the other hand, the damage that is causes is beyond words. Israel has paid dearly for that aid, and many Jewish lives have been lost as a result.

Prime Minister Golda Meir hesitated to be the first to attack ahead of the 1973 Yom Kippur War because then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger emphatically told her that if she did, America would stop shipping weapons. The result was tragic and, in the end, Kissinger and then-President Richard Nixon sent in weapons to save Israel from disaster… but it was they who had caused that disaster in the first place.

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Fast forward to the war in Gaza just five years ago, when Israel was forced to shoot thousands of missiles into empty fields and literally ran out of the Hellfire missile – provided by America. When Israel asked Washington to immediately send more, then-President Barack Obama flatly refused, and many IDF soldiers lost their lives due to the IAF (Israel Air Force) not having these missiles for their helicopters. Had Israel manufactured these missiles and not relied on America to supply them, many Jewish lives would have been saved.

This financial support costs Israel a tremendous amount of money as well. I can give 20 examples, but allow me to give just one. Poland is threatened by Russia on a daily basis. They are in desperate need of a missile defense system that can defend their country against ballistic missiles shot from several hundred miles away, well in the range of Putin’s gangs. Israel had been supplying Poland with high quality anti-tank missiles, so they decided to place a $7-billion order with Israel for a very sophisticated system for ballistic, surface-to-surface missiles as well. Believe it or not, part of the deal that Israel signed, when it received the American aid, was that it cannot export missile systems of this type without American approval.

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Israeli subordination?

You read that correctly; America had to approve the sale of an anti-missile system between Israel and Poland. Had Poland been an enemy country with America, I would understand, but Poland has been a member of NATO for over 20 years and is a U.S. ally, so why care if Israel is selling Poland a system to defend itself against Russia?

What happened? America rejected the deal, and Israel lost the $7-billion sale. So, what did Poland do? They really needed the defense system. No problem – the USA defense company, Raytheon, stepped in and made the sale. But don’t worry. Raytheon was very nice and decided to let Israel get involved in 10% of the deal. This meant that instead of getting $7 billion, Israel got $700 million – still a lot of money but nothing close to what could have – and should have – been. That is just one example of the handcuffs placed on Israel because of the financial aid package.

Much more can be said about both these topics, but let me simply conclude by saying that while I am not a member of the Rashida Harbi Tlaib fan club, her twisted logic has actually scored two points in my book, without her even noticing!

Israel is one state – always has been and always will be – and financially, we are strong, stable and extremely aggressive. So let’s take off the ball and chain and start running!

Shmuel Sackett is a religious Zionist leader in Israel and a member of the Zehut political party.