by Daveda Gruber:
Anti-Antisemitism is lurking amongst new lawmakers in the House of Representatives. House Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI wrote a column in 2006 entitled “Bills must stop deportations for minor offenses,” on The Final Call for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The Final Call is an online publication founded and maintained by Farrakhan.
Excerpts of what Tlaib, the freshman Palestinian American, wrote:
“Lost in the often-vitriolic national quarrel over immigration reform is any examination of proposed measures that would result in excessive punishment, such as detention and deportation, for the most minor offenses. Concern for “national security” has introduced unprecedented insecurity to living in the United States as a legal permanent resident.”
It’s easy to forget that detention and deportation have real and long-lasting effects on families. We are not able to see such negative effects right away, or immigrants fear speaking out.
After 9/11, fear between Arab and Muslim communities rose and remain widespread, as repressive policies seem to target particular nationalities.
Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officials stated that this was part of a national operation to apprehend immigrants that committed violent crimes. However, reports from community members verified that ICE began knocking on neighboring homes one by one and took several people into custody without just cause.
There is no mention of these dangerous provisions in the debate. Over and over again, we hear about border security, legalization and national security, but there is no reference to maintaining our tradition and American values of keeping families together, providing a safe haven for the needy and advancing humanity.”
The full op-ed can be found HERE:
After publication, a spokesperson for Tlaib said in a statement, “As a former immigration attorney and advocate, Congresswoman Tlaib has published numerous articles about the need for immigrant rights. The goal was to educate citizens about the importance of passing just and humane immigration reform, which is still a priority for her district today.
The piece was from 2006 and was not an endorsement of Farrakhan or anyone for that matter. The Congresswoman has not had any direct contact with Farrakhan and condemns his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views.”
Tlaib later came under bipartisan criticism from Jewish groups for appearing with radical anti-Israel activists during her swearing in ceremony in Michigan. Some of the activists previously praised terror group Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists saying that Israel has no right to exist.
Tlaib’s association with Farrakhan comes after strong criticism of her and other freshmen Democrats who have been accused of anti-Semitism.
Tlaib also has a prominent fundraiser who has partaken in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Tlaib’s Democratic colleague, another freshman, is Somali American Rep. Ilhan Omar D-MN. She has also faced similar criticisms for thoughtless remarks about Israel and Jewish advocacy groups in the United States.
So far, Democratic leadership has defended Tlaib and Omar. House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries D-N.Y. and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer D-MD dismissed concerns of anti-Semitism last month. Hoyer said, “I don’t know that I draw the conclusion that these two members are anti-Semitic. I don’t accept that.”
Farrakhan is open on his rhetoric. In 1984, Farrakhan praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler when he said, “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”
More recently Twitter took action against hate spewing Farrakhan when he shared a video warning about “Satanic Jews.” He wrote, “Will you recognize Satan? I wonder, will you see the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan, which has many races in it because Satan has deceived the whole world?”
His anti-Semitic vocabulary continued when he recently posted another video where he says that he wasn’t prejudiced against Jewish people but was simply “anti-Termite.”
Farrakhan and his followers went on a solidarity trip to Iran in November. In Iran he led “Death to America” chants. During the trip, Farrakhan told Iranian students that “America has never been a democracy,” and also led a “Death to Israel” chant at the end of his talk. This was reported by Iranian news agencies.
Antisemitism is not new in the U.S. or anywhere else, for that matter. The fact that it is out in the open and spewed regularly is disturbing.
It is pretty much still fresh in our minds what happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where eleven congregants died when they were gunned down by Robert Bowers.