Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) has received a lot of criticism for the surpassing crudity of her declaration about the President — “We’re going to impeach the motherf***er”– and in the last few days for offering the phrase for sale on a t-shirt — but less attention has been given to the company she keeps. As far back as her swearing-in, and at a private dinner she held that same day, many unsavory “Palestinian” activists were in attendance.
It should be remembered that at her victory party, Tlaib wrapped herself not in the American, but in the “Palestinian” flag, and repeatedly intoned “Palestine…Palestine.” Sounds like her loyalties are clear. She’s not even a case of “dual loyalty” but, rather, of a single loyalty — to Palestine. But when two senators sponsored legislation to limit the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) campaign, Tlaib had the chutzpah to attack them in a tweet, using the antisemitic dual-loyalty canard: “They forgot what country they represent.” She, on the other hand, hasn’t forgotten: she represents Palestine.
Among them was Abbas Hamideh, who tweeted a photo of himself with Ms. Tlaib along with the caption, “I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country.”
Hamideh, a co-founder of the pro-Palestinian group Al-Awda, has a history of praising Hezbollah leaders such as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whom he called “the most honorable man on earth.” That “most honorable man on earth” was responsible for the murder of many Americans, including the October 23, 1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which 220 Marines and 21 other American personnel were killed. Nasrallah has been responsible for numerous other attacks on American, Israeli, and Jewish targets, including cross-border raids from Lebanon into Israel in which Israelis were kidnapped and killed. Until September 11, 2001, Hezbollah was responsible for killing more Americans than any other terrorist organization. Among other deadly attacks by Hezbollah, in addition to the 1983 attack on U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241, are the 1992 suicide bombing at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 and injured 242; the 1994 suicide bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring hundreds; and the 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria, killing five and injuring 32. Hezbollah is also suspected of involvement in the February 2005 Beirut suicide bombing that killed 23 people, including former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It has served Iranian interests in Lebanon.
This staunch supporter of Rashida Tlaib was invited by her not only to attend her swearing-in, but also the private dinner afterward, to which only those closest to her were invited. He has tweeted that “Israel has no right to exist,” a sentiment which elicited no comment, much less a rebuff, from Tlaib. Since taking office, she has been peddling hatred for Israel and employing anti-Semitic tropes. She defended Marc Lamont Hill after CNN fired him for comments in which he called for the elimination of Israel and endorsed violent “resistance” against Jews.
Abbas Hamideh has expressed particular admiration for Samir Kuntar, whom he called a “legendary Hezbollah martyr,” days after Kuntar was killed in an explosion in Damascus. Kuntar had been convicted of murder and terrorism for his role in the gruesome 1979 murder of four Israelis, but was released in a 2008 Israeli-Hezbollah prisoner exchange.
Under the cover of darkness on April 22, 1979, Kuntar, then 16, led a Palestinian Liberation Front attack in Nahariya, in which he brutally murdered several members of one family, and was responsible for the death of a third member of the family. He and his accomplices snuck into Israel from the sea, and then broke into a family’s apartment. There, they kidnapped a young father, Danny Haran, and his 4-year-old daughter Einat. Kuntar took the father and his young daughter to the nearby beach. There, he shot the father, and had the daughter, Einat, watch as he drowned her father underwater to ensure he was completely dead. Then, he smashed the little girl’s head against a nearby rock with the butt of his gun.
As Kuntar was kidnapping the father and daughter, the mother, Smadar, grabbed their 2-year old baby, Yael, and hid from the men who breached her home. As Smadar tried to keep her baby quiet to keep them from being found, her daughter suffocated in her arms. This is the man whom Rashida Tlaib’s friend Abbas Hamideh praises as “a legendary Hezbollah martyr.” Tlaib apparently believes that his praise of such a diabolical murderer does not disqualify Hamideh from being a guest at her swearing-in and private dinner.
Many others of note showed up on Tlaib’s first day, as part of her inner circle. There was Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of ISM, the International Solidarity Movement, a group with a long history of supporting “Palestinian” terror groups. In 2004, at a Palestine Solidarity Movement conference, Arraf proudly acknowledged that ISM cooperates with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. And in 2013, ISM expressed support for Samer Issawi, a terrorist affiliated with yet another group, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Other supporters in Tlaib’s inner circle include the “comedian” Amer Zehr, best known for his thigh-slapping act of covering up Israel on a world map — eliminating the “Zionist entity” — with a post-it note.
When running for office, Tlaib was careful not to appear as hard on Israel as she has since revealed herself to be. Her first political patron, to whom she owes a great deal, was Steve Tobocman, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, who was certain Tlaib supported a “two-state solution” until, it turned out, she didn’t. Even J Street couldn’t stomach her mendacity and, in an unprecedented move, withdrew its support from Tlaib.
Her dishonesty and her vicious hatred are now manifest for the world to see, just as it is completely clear where her loyalty lies.