Rashida Tlaib: US tax dollars shouldn't support Israeli apartheid

David Friedman responds: Israel bends over backwards to secure Muslim worship at Muslim holy sites.

Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (photo credit: CANVA.COM)
Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
(photo credit: CANVA.COM)
 The United States must ensure that its tax dollars are not going to support an Israeli "apartheid" act in Jerusalem, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) said over the weekend as she tweeted against Israeli violence towards Palestinians in Jerusalem as severe clashes broke out over the weekend.
"Too many are silent or dismissive as our U.S. tax dollars continue to be used for this kind of inhumanity," tweeted Tlaib, who was born to Palestinian parents who immigrated to the US.
"I am tired of people functioning from a place of fear rather than doing what's right because of the bullying by pro-Israel lobbyists," she added. "This is apartheid, plain and simple," Tlaib stated.
On Monday, she called on President Joe Biden to intervene and stop Israel from entering the Temple Mount where it has been trying to quell protests. 
"Israel attacks it during Ramadan. Where's the outrage," she asked on Twitter. 
In response, former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that: "Israel bends over backwards to secure Muslim worship at Muslim holy sites. You are way off on the facts."
 
She was not the only US politician to issue a comment. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) tweeted against the Israeli police use of tear gas in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount, knowns to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif.
"This is happening as Muslims pray tarawih & tahajud in Palestine. Families who pray all night during Ramadan, the mosque is like home. Palestinians deserve to find refuge in a mosque and peace in Ramadan," Omar tweeted. "Where is the media coverage?," she asked.
 They spoke out after a weekend of violence in Jerusalem in which over 200 Palestinians and over a dozen Israeli police officers were injured. Violence broke out on the Temple Mount where Muslims had gathered for Ramadan prayers. There were also clashes in and around the Old City in Jerusalem, including in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
A few Democratic senators also spoke out against the pending Israeli evictions of four Palestinian families from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah over a property dispute. The Biden administration has spoken out against the evictions, but a number of senators felt the statement was not strong enough.
"Evictions of families in east Jerusalem would violate international law. If the Biden Administration puts the rule of law and human rights at the heart of its foreign policy, this is not a moment for tepid statements," tweeted Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland.) 
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted: "The United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, nd make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward."
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote, "The forced removal of long-time Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah is abhorrent and unacceptable. The Administration should make clear to the Israeli government that these evictions are illegal and must stop immediately."
Israel's Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan defended the country's actions in Jerusalem.
"Over the month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Palestinians have prayed at their holiest site in Jerusalem and thousands more in mosques throughout the country. In Israel – unlike in other places – we value & safeguard freedom of worship, whatever of your religion," Erdan wrote.
He charged that Palestinians were exploiting the situation in Sheikh Jarrah and other parts of Jerusalem "to stoke violence and hatred towards Israel."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "uses any excuse to delegitimize Israel in order to deflect attention from his own corruption & failure to hold elections," Erdan tweeted.
"Terror group Hamas never needs an excuse to ignite the region. And anti-Israel activists are always ready to portray Israel, and the Jews, as evil," he added.
"The truth is that Israel is the safest place for Muslims in the Middle East. If a violent mob attacked the police anywhere else, we all know the results would be fatal and we all know there would be no condemnation tweets." Erdan tweeted.
He noted that some of the Palestinian protestors had called for the destruction of Tel Aviv. "t’s time to stop this unhealthy obsession with Israel & look at the truth. Are these protestors calling for freedom to worship? No! Are they calling to halt evictions? No! They are using their holy site to lob firebombs & chant to destroy Tel Aviv," Erdan tweeted.