(JNS) Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) responded to backlash over taking a photo this month with an activist who has called Israel a “terrorist entity” whose founding was a “crime.” The congresswoman was photographed with Abbas Hamideh, who has repeatedly expressed support for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, at her swearing-in ceremony in Detroit on Jan. 12. The Anti-Defamation League is among those who have called for Tlaib to “clarify this attendance and denounce his antisemitism.”
“No matter your political persuasion, all leaders–and Americans–need to unequivocally speak out against antisemitism and hate,” posted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a Twitter thread. “That especially goes for members of Congress.” He added, “Days ago, @RashidaTlaib was photographed at an event with Abbas Hamideh, a man who has praised terrorist groups Hamas & Hezbollah and equated Zionists with Nazis. We ask her to clarify his attendance and denounce his anti-Semitism.”
Tlaib told The Detroit Free Press last week, “A photo does not mean I agree with anything someone says. It is obvious this man thrives on media attention from his recent posts. It’s unfortunate that he was successful. I do not agree with the statements brought to my attention.” But Hamideh told The Daily Caller last week that he became acquainted with Tlaib during her congressional campaign.
“Now, she knows me well, don’t get me wrong, and I know her well through her campaign and stuff like that – like we’ve met numerous times [at] numerous events,” said Hamideh.
Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman to be elected to Congress, has come under fire for her critical stance on Israel, including advocating for the BDS movement.
CAP: Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib poses with the pro-Hezbollah, pro-Hamas ‘right of return’ activist Abbas Hamideh on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Twitter)