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  • Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress is known for her vocal criticism of Israel’s approach towards Palestinians.

    Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress is known for her vocal criticism of Israel’s approach towards Palestinians. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 July 2019
Opinion

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib slammed Israel’s racist policies in an interview while applauding solidarity for Palestine from other oppressed communities.

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib slammed Israel in an interview with Jacobin published Saturday. She criticized Israel’s policy towards Palestinians and called for intersectional solidarity. 

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“I can tell you when I was in Palestine with my mother and she had to get in a separate line. There are different colored license plates if you are Palestinian or Israeli. 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,” Tlaib said to the magazine. 

She pointed out Palestinians were “killed, died, uprooted from their land” due to Israel’s creation and people need to acknowledge that. 

“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. She should be able to die with some sort of human dignity.”

Tlaib also said that solidarity among different oppressed groups towards Palestine shows that young people are understanding the crimes against the occupied population. 

“When I see young Black Lives Matter activists with t-shirts that say “Free Palestine,” and I’m wearing the Black Lives Matter t-shirt, I know it’s working,” she said. 

“Just like we looked at the struggle for black Americans for true equality and access to opportunity to thrive. The same thing that has happened to the LGBTQ community. All of that is why I say free Palestine, that Palestinians deserve human rights.”

Tlaib applauded the younger generation of U.C. citizens for 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” which makes defenders of status quo very worried. 

Tlaib also told the magazine she got interested in class politics due to her father who was involved with the United Auto Workers while working at Ford Motor Company. 

“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,” Tlaib recounted. 

“When my dad was nine years old, he moved to Nicaragua and found more poverty and decay and a lot of other struggles, so when he came to the United States at the age of nineteen he really didn’t feel economic stability until he finally got a job at Ford Motor Company, and got health insurance for the first time and involved in the United Auto Workers.”

When asked about her call for the impeachment of the U.S. President Donald Trump, she said the president is a “crooked CEO” who is attacking democracy.

“He’s setting the precedent that it’s okay to attack our democracy. Our democracy is not perfect, but we are allowing a crooked CEO to run this country.”

The Palestinian American representative also said that if he is not stopped then it will set a precedent which will allow more “crooked CEO” to “run for president.”

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