Jewish Democrats distance themselves from candidate opposing Israel aid

Rashida Tlaib, a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is likely to win her race in Michigan's 13th Congressional district after surviving a competitive Democratic primary.

August 15, 2018 16:28
1 minute read.
Rashida Tlaib on interview about Arab-Israeli Conflict (August 13, 2018).

Rashida Tlaib on interview about Arab-Israeli Conflict (August 13, 2018). . (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)


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WASHINGTON – The Jewish Democratic Council of America criticized one of its own party candidates for Congress in Michigan on Tuesday after she suggested she will oppose military aid to Israel if elected.

Rashida Tlaib, a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is likely to win her race in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District after surviving a competitive Democratic primary. Her family remains in the West Bank.

Asked in an interview if she would support cuts in aid to Israel, she replied, “Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice.

“For me, US aid should be leverage. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the US when they still promote that kind of injustice.

“So much is about, ‘Let’s choose a side,’” she continued. “I am for making sure that every single person there has every right to thrive.”

On her candidate page for JStreetPac, a political action committee linked to the left-leaning J Street advocacy group, Tlaib says she “believes that the US should be directly involved with negotiations to reach a two-state solution” and that she “supports all current aid to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, particularly to fund initiatives that ‘foster peace, as well as economic and humanitarian services.’”

She has also said she hopes to break down barriers between Israelis and Palestinians, who have “much in common.”

In a statement, the JDCA emphasized that aid to Israel remains bipartisan in Congress because it is “mutually beneficial” to both Israel and the US.

“Threatening to cut military assistance to Israel is inconsistent with the values of the Democratic Party and the American people,” said the Jewish Democratic group, which is supporting candidates in House and Senate races nationwide.

Yvette J. Deane contributed to this report.

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