Tlaib Dodges Question on Whether Israel Has the Right to Exist

‘People want to dismiss it (BDS movement) because they’re trying to say it’s anti-Semitism…’

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., defended the controversial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on Sunday, claiming the “racist policies” of Israel must be stopped and avoiding multiple questions about whether Israel has the right to exist.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Tlaib said the House’s resolution condemning the BDS movement is an attempt to stifle pro-Palestine members’ freedom of speech.

“It is a form of freedom of speech. But people want to dismiss it (BDS movement) because they’re trying to say it’s anti-Semitism,” Tlaib said. “That’s the way they’re trying to discredit the fact that we all know, under [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s regime, human rights violations have gotten worse.”

“Why not boycott Egypt?” Tapper asked. “They have human rights —“

.

“Oh, I would boycott Egypt of course!” Tlaib responded.

“But you keep saying you ‘would,’ you ‘would’ boycott Egypt — but you’re not,” Tapper responded.

Tlaib went on to say she would support economic boycotts of any Middle Eastern country that participates in “human rights abuses.”

Tapper then pressed Tlaib on why she is specifically opposed to Israel.

He asked whether she recognizes that “the Jewish people have the right to a state in the area where Israel exists now.”

Tlaib deflected: “I truly believe the state of Israel is — it exists, correct.

“But understand, does it exist in the detriment of inequality for the Palestinian people, the detriment of not moving forward in a peaceful resolution?”

Tapper then asked again: “But yes or no? Does Israel have a right to exist?”

“Of course,” she responded, quickly changing the subject back to Palestinian rights. “Just like Palestinians have a right to exist. Palestinians also have a right to human rights. We can’t say one or the other. We have to say it in the same breath or we’re not gonna actually have a peaceful resolution,” she said.