Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who officially became the first Palestinian-American congresswoman last week, was accused Monday of perpetuating historically anti-Semitic sentiments.
It is already the second major controversy for the freshman lawmaker. Last week — on the same day she was sworn into Congress — Tlaib triggered widespread condemnation and backlash after she referred to President Donald Trump as a "motherf***er," asserting that she will effortlessly work to impeach the president.
What did she do now?
While voicing her opposition to legislation combating anti-Israel boycotts, Tlaib "unleashed an anti-Semitic dual loyalty smear," according to the Washington Examiner.
"They forgot what country they represent," Tlaib said of lawmakers who support the pro-Israel legislation.
They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away. https://t.co/KkmqjR58ZM
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 7, 2019
"The idea of Jews as having divided loyalty, and of using their influence to convince others to act against the interests and principles of their own country, is an age-old anti-Semitic trope," the Examiner's Philip Klein explained.
Specifically, Tlaib is referring to legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he intends to prioritize in the new congressional session. One of those bills would provide ample margin for state and local governments to curtail their business with those who actively support boycotts of Israel.
In mind, specifically, are those entities that support the BDS movement — short for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — a movement that advocates an international boycott of Israel until the sovereign nation acquiesces to pro-Palestine, anti-Israel policies. While the movement doesn't admit as much, the movement seeks to erode Israel's right to exist.
Meanwhile, Tlaib's Democratic colleagues have taken a more nuanced posture. They say Congress should not address legislation outside of that which would re-open the government.
Democrats say the bill would hamper constitutionally protected rights, such as free speech, but as Klein explained, "existing laws prevent governments from contracting with businesses that engage in discriminatory practices, and the movement to boycott Israeli Jews certainly is discriminatory."
Aside from being called out by many on social media, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) openly rebuked Tlaib for her anti-Semitic smear.
This “dual loyalty" canard is a typical anti-Semitic line#BDS isn't about freedom & equality, it's about destroying #Israel
And if boycotting #Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected https://t.co/6yBM0bQB5L
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 7, 2019