Jewish groups condemn Rashida Tlaib over ties to radical pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel activist
Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib has been condemned after hosting a private celebratory dinner on Saturday featuring anti-Israel activists who praised terror group Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists, said Israel has no right to exist and called for Israeli “Zionist terrorist” Jews to return to Europe.
Tlaib, the first-term Palestinian-American congresswoman from Michigan, first rose to national prominence after being caught on video saying she will “impeach the motherf-----,” in reference to President trump, on the same day she was sworn into Congress
Over the weekend, Tlaib came under fire for her ties to radical Palestinian activists. After the official swearing-in ceremony in her home district, Tlaib and a number of anti-Israel activists participated in the dinner.
She was photographed with Abbas Hamideh, a supporter of Tlaib and a co-founder of Al-Awda, who made numerous inflammatory and hateful remarks on social media.
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The controversy over the ties to the activist came about a week after Tlaib was accused of anti-Semitism when she lashed out against Senate Republicans for planning to introduce a measure banning boycotts of Israel, saying: “They forgot what country they represent.”
Shortly after his image with Tlaib was discovered, many social media users began pointing out the activist’s social media writings, including his affinity to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
“Always loved this heroic resistance leader! Long live Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah!” he wrote in 2015, celebrating the leader of the group that the U.S. government designated as a foreign terrorist organization. “They tried so hard to demonize #Nasrallah and #Hezbollah and we said f--- you!,” he wrote in another tweet.
Just a day after the event with Tlaib, the activists suggested “Zionist terrorists” should go back to Europe. He previously wrote that “there's more Jewish history in Brooklyn, New York and Poland than in occupied Palestine” and suggested Israeli Jews should move to New York.
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A prominent Chicago anti-Israel activist going by Jbara Mwafaq was also present at the dinner. He is an active leader in the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CCJP), an umbrella group of Palestinians and against Israel, Fox News can reveal.
On social media, the activist once posted a picture of himself speaking on a podium with the the Palestine Liberation Movement flag and advocated for the end of Israel with Palestine “from the river to the sea.” He frequently posted images of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, including Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israel for carrying an attack on Israeli soldiers 1980.
Tlaib gave a shout-out at the dinner to activists from Chicago, including Ahlam Jbara – another leader of the CCJP group and Arab and Muslim American Outreach director of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.
“All those who are from Chicago, thank you so much. Thank you for coming here. Ahlam Jbara not only had one but three events for me in Chicago, helping me raise grassroots money so we can get going door to door and so on,” she said at the dinner.
Tlaib’s association with Hamideh prompted both Republican and Democratic Jewish groups to condemn the congresswoman.
“Unfortunately, we really aren’t surprised. Tlaib is turning out to be the exact person we were warning she is. What is perhaps the worst part about this is, Democrats won’t do a single thing about it, nor will Democratic Jewish groups,” Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss told JNS. “And it’s all because they’re afraid to stand up to their rabidly anti-Israel, far-left base.”
“JDCA stands unequivocally against Abbas Hamideh’s radical record and his extremist anti-Israel views which should be condemned by all,” the Jewish Democratic Council of America told the outlet. “Since August of last year, JDCA has repeatedly stated our strong policy disagreements with Rep. Rashida Tlaib and we urge her to make clear where she stands with regard to Abbas Hamideh.”
“Unfortunately, we really aren’t surprised. Tlaib is turning out to be the exact person we were warning she is. What is perhaps the worst part about this is, Democrats won’t do a single thing about it, nor will Democratic Jewish groups. And it’s all because they’re afraid to stand up to their rabidly anti-Israel, far-left base.”
This isn’t the first time Tlaib is facing scrutiny over her ties to radical activists in the country. According to Algemeiner, a New York-based Jewish newspaper, Tlaib’s fundraising efforts were backed by Maher Abdelqader, a prominent Palestinian in America, who praised Syrian Catholic bishop Hilarion Capucci who was convicted in Israel for using his status in 1974 to smuggle weapons to the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization.
“Palestine lost one of its loyal freedom fighters, who fought passionately for the liberty and freedom of palestine(sic) from the Zionist apartheid ugly Israeli occupation,” he tweeted after the death of the bishop.
Tlaib also interacted with Ahmad Abuznaid, an anti-Israel activist who is the son of Nabil Abuznaid, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ambassador and former Yasser Arafat advisor. She shared a picture of him on her personal Facebook page, writing “Look at this handsome voter. Ahmad Abuznaid took on hate with his vote today in #FloridaPrimary.”
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He is a co-founder of Florida-based Dream Defenders, a group that organized a trip to West Bank in 2015 and 2016, with one of the trips led by Mahmoud Jiddeh, a former member of a U.S.-designated terror group – the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who spent 17 years in prison for planting bombs in Israel that wounded nine civilians. He was released as part of a prisoner swap.
The Tlaib office didn’t respond to Fox News’ request for a comment.
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.