“I see more Americans understanding the plight of Palestinians,” the Michigan congresswoman tells Jacobin.
By World Israel News Staff
In her latest comments against the State of Israel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) says that she “can’t separate” the Civil Rights Movement in her hometown of Detroit from the lack of equality in Israel, which she refers to as Palestine.
“My African-American teachers and others used to show me neighborhoods and communities that were segregated, where if you were a biracial couple you couldn’t live or work or eat in certain places, you couldn’t eat in certain places,” the Muslim congresswoman told Jacobin, which describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.”
“So my dad only went up to a fourth-grade education, my mom an eighth-grade education, and both were born in Palestine. My mom grew up in the West Bank in the occupied territories,” she says of her background.
“I can tell you when I was in Palestine with my mother and she had to get in a separate line,” says the Michigan representative, without elaborating on where this happened.
Then, she adds, “there are different colored license plates if you are Palestinian or Israeli,” referring more accurately to the days before Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were granted self-rule. Since the 1993 understandings which set the stage for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, those different license plates have indicated that the motorist is a resident of a Palestinian entity.
“There is continued dehumanization and racist policies by the state of Israel that violate international human rights but also violate my core values of who I am as an American,” she says, this time referring to the Jewish State by its name, but adding that “‘separate but equal’ doesn’t work.”
Within Israel, ironically, the left-wing argues that separation is necessary between Israelis and Palestinians, while right-wing nationalists are more likely to support Arabs and Israelis living together in Judea and Samaria.
“I know that my ancestors were killed, died, uprooted from their land. That’s something that no one even wants to acknowledge that had to happen to create the state of Israel,” she said.
“Do I want to see that happen to other people? Absolutely not!” she continues, in a more conciliatory tone. “But I want there to be a recognition that it happened and from there on, do some sort of healing process and understanding that it needs to then lead to equality and freedom for my grandmother who still lives there,” Tlaib told Jacobin.
“I see more Americans understanding the plight of Palestinians, in a way that doesn’t dehumanize or degrade Israelis either but does hold the leadership of the Israeli government accountable,” she said.