Rep. Rashida Tlaib says she ‘absolutely loves’ Jews, warns of anti-Semitism on both sides

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Rashida Tlaib: most controversial statements

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has never been afraid to voice her opinion. From her calls to shut down U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to her push to impeach President Trump, take a look back at her most controversial statements over the past two years.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., told Jews at an event Tuesday night "I don’t hate you, I absolutely love you," while warning that anti-Semitism is a bipartisan issue.

The progressive "Squad " member connected anti-Semitism to her experience with anti-Muslim sentiment.

"I realized just how antisemitism was so connected to my freedom, to my right to live as a Muslim in our country, as a child of immigrants," Tlaib said. "I really realized just the connection of the anti-Muslim, anti-blackness, anti-immigrant and Jewish movement that was out there, and… if you open the curtain, it’s the same people coming after us."

Tlaib was speaking at a Jewish Voice for Peace event with New York Times columnist Peter Beinart and Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple University. Both Tlaib and Lamont Hill have faced repeated accusations of anti-Semitism.

The event was entitled "Dismantling Anti-Semitism, Winning Justice."

"I also think it’s really important to really center something I heard from one of my beautiful Black neighbors, who teach me more and more about fighting racism, including antisemitism and so much more, is that there’s no hierarchy of who’s hurting the most," the Michigan congresswoman said, according to Jewish Insider. "When we do lead with compassion, we want to center that on everyone should be truly free… and how that is all interconnected around human dignity."


Much of the event focused on anti-Semitism from the right, particularly calling out President Trump and White nationalists, until Beinart admitted Jewish prejudice could be found on the left.

"There is anti-Semitism on the left as well," Beinart said. "It’s very important that as we fight against the greatest anti-Semitic threat, which is from the White nationalist right, that we also show a great concern to make sure that progressive movements are not tainted by anti-Semitism."

"If anybody comes through my doors or through any form to try to push anti-Semitism forward, you will hear me being very loud with my bullhorn to tell them to get the hell out," Tlaib said in agreement.

"Peter’s right, there is so much — I see in Islamophobia — it is bipartisan supported. You see anti-Semitism, it is very much an issue of the left, the right… it is an issue in our country. And this is what scares them, is when we work together like this."

But after accusations against Tlaib of anti-Semitism, the Israeli government rejected a request by both her and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., to enter the Jewish state. Citing their itinerary, Israel claimed that their visit was intended to promote boycotts against the nation.

The nation later allowed her visit on humanitarian grounds– Tlaib wanted to visit her grandmother– but she canceled the trip.


Last month, a group opposing anti-Semitism denounced Tlaib’s call for Palestinian freedom "from the river to the sea."

That controversial phrasing has been interpreted by the Anti-Defamation League to convey an interest in eliminating the state of Israel.

"Rashida Tlaib RT's [retweets] out the same message that got Marc Lamont Hill canned from CNN," tweeted the account for

"From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free – code for eradicating the State of Israel and its millions of Jews. Reminder – this is a sitting U.S. Congresswoman."

Lamont Hill, a former CNN commentator, was fired from the network after a speech he gave at the United Nations in 2018 that included similar remarks. At the time, Hill denied calling for Israel's destruction.

"My reference to 'river to the sea' was not a call to destroy anything or anyone," he tweeted.

"It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things. No amount of debate will change what I actually said or what I meant."

Then, Tlaib was criticized by House Republicans last year who accused her of describing a "calm feeling" she experienced when thinking about the Holocaust. The congresswoman said her critics were policing and "twisting" her words and defended the comments she made.


"There’s always kind of a calming feeling, when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors– Palestinians– who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways have been wiped out… in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of the Jews across the world at that time. And I love that it was my ancestors that provided that, in many ways," Tlaib had said in an interview with a Yahoo News podcast.

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