Rashida Tlaib: Donald Trump is a lawless king-like dictator

Several other liberal lawmakers and thought leaders also reacted.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens to testimony during a hearing of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee on "Confronting White Supremacy (Part I): The Consequences of Inaction" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019 (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens to testimony during a hearing of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee on "Confronting White Supremacy (Part I): The Consequences of Inaction" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019
(photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)
Representative Rashida Tlaib tweeted on Tuesday that Israeli settlements violate international law and called US President Donald Trump "a lawless king-like dictator."
"Israel's settlements in the West Bank violate international law. No matter what this corrupt and immoral Trump regime (yeah he is a lawless king-like dictator) say, it doesn't change that fact. #FreePalestine & #ImpeachmentTrumpNow," Tlaib tweeted.

Minnesota representative and known Israel-critic Ilhan Omar tweeted in response to the US declaring Israeli settlements are legal.
"Israeli settlements violate intl law, decades of U.S. foreign policy, and the human rights of Palestinians. All who believe in the possibility of peace must speak up in this moment. 'In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,'" Omar wrote, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Trump administration is isolating the United States internationally with its declaration that West Bank settlements are illegal, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted on Monday.
 
"Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions," he tweeted. "Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base."
 
Sanders was responding to the Trump administration's announcement on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.

The policy change was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

Another top tier candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, said that if elected, she would reverse the decision.
"Another blatantly ideological attempt by the Trump administration to distract from its failures in the region," she tweeted. "Not only do these settlements violate international law – they make peace harder to achieve. As president, I will reverse this policy and pursue a two-state solution."
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Joe Biden, said that the former vice president "is and has always been a strong supporter of Israel.
"Critical to that strong support is the understanding that the best way to ensure Israel's future security as a Jewish and democratic state, is for Israelis and Palestinians to work together toward a two-state solution," Bates said. "That's also the only way to achieve the legitimate rights and freedoms the Palestinian people deserve.
"Expanding settlement activity makes that harder. It's an obstacle to peace," he continued. "That's something that every previous administration, both Republican and Democratic, has agreed on – until Trump. This decision harms the cause of diplomacy, takes us further away from the hope of a two-state solution, and will only further inflame tensions in the region. It's not about peace or security. It is not about being pro-Israel. It is about undercutting Israel's future in service of Trump’s personal politics."  

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, called the decision "a significant step backward in our efforts to achieve a two-state solution," adding that "it is the latest in a pattern of destructive decisions that harm our national interests."

The Union for Reform Judaism's president Rabbi Rick Jacobs issued a statement, also urging the administration to reverse the decision:
"The URJ is greatly concerned about today's statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo which, while focusing on international law, will be widely read as a broader change to the US position on Israeli settlements - a policy which has been long held by both Republican and Democratic US administrations."

According to Jacobs, "any unilateral move to this effect would place serious and critical obstacles to a viable two-state solution, damaging the prospect of renewing the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and causing a long-term threat to Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state. We urge the Trump administration to reverse its position."

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the progressive group J Street, released a statement saying that the announcement is just the latest in a long series of actions by the Trump administration designed to "provide political gifts to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu.
"Coming at a moment when Prime Minister Netanyahu is struggling desperately for political survival and faces imminent indictment for corruption, the timing of this announcement can only be read as a last-ditch attempt to boost the prime minister's personal prospects," Ben Ami continued, calling on Congress to move quickly and pass House Resolution 326, "which reaffirms support for the two-state solution, notes longstanding US opposition to settlement expansion, and clearly opposes any steps toward the formal annexation of the West Bank.
"There is no time to waste," he said.
The executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Halie Soifer, also tweeted, calling the announcement a "green light for Israeli annexation of the West Bank, which will permanently impede prospects for a two-state solution."
She said that Trump does not understand what it means to be pro-Israel, and that "Jewish voters reject his recklessness."