Electronic Intifada Cannot Handle Fact Rashida Tlaib Got Called Out for Antisemitism

As expected, the Jew-haters and Israel-haters are furious over Thursday’s US House of Representatives vote to pass legislation to provide Israel with $1 billion for its Iron Dome missile defense system. But there are rants and then there is the Electronic Intifada’s diatribe.

Reading more like a parody of wokesterism than a serious piece, the author Michael F. Brown reaches into his bag of tricks, which includes exaggeration, mischaracterization, and Woke bingo.

Human rights for Palestinians got a thrashing on Thursday in Washington.

A delighted AIPAC claimed victory with a pinned tweet hailing the 420-9 vote in the US House of Representatives providing $1 billion for Israel to replenish its Iron Dome rocket interceptors.

All that is missing at this point of the piece is:

It was all entirely predictable.

What was not predictable was the one-sided viciousness of the debate preceding the vote.

One member of the US Congress, just one – Rashida Tlaib – had the nerve to stand up during the debate on Iron Dome and call Israel what it is: “an apartheid regime.”

The import of the day, however, isn’t that over 400 members of Congress voted to provide $1 billion so that Israel can replenish Iron Dome. That was easily anticipated from the moment Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro introduced the standalone appropriations bill after progressives briefly maneuvered to stop new Iron Dome funding on Tuesday. 

The US government, after all, has stood almost without exception with Israel and against Palestinians for 73 years. There was no reason to expect members of Congress to start suddenly voting with Palestinian rights foremost in their minds. 

No, the unexpected grotesqueness of the moment came when the Democratic Party abandoned Tlaib and let the anti-Palestinian racists in their midst – from both parties – attack her without defense. 

In the most personalized case of anti-Palestinian racism ever to take place on the House floor, not a single Democrat stepped forward to identify the bigoted moment for what it was. Not one Democrat spoke in defense of Tlaib following her advocacy for Palestinians who have been bombarded and killed for decades by the American-funded Israeli military. 

They walked away because anti-Palestinian racism still doesn’t register properly.

For all the talk of anti-racism within the party’s ranks, there was a sickening silence after Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch refused to engage with the substance of Tlaib’s apartheid assertion and moved directly to condemning her for alleged “anti-Semitism.” 

Note how Brown complains the Congressmen “refused to engage with the substance of Tlaib’s apartheid assertion.” As if they should give credence to something so blatantly false. They did, however, attack the real content of her speech, speaking of the fact the Iron Dome is a defensive system. To paint this as “anti-Palestinian racism” and “bigoted” is a common trick by those who at the same time deny the existence of real antisemitism, claiming it is a way to silence “legitimate criticism of Israel.” And Brown certainly does this:

But there was no anti-Semitism on the House floor from Tlaib. Pointing out the apartheid reality – the absence of freedom and equal rights for Palestinians – should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. 

I already posted Congressman Ted Deutch‘s speech. This is Brown’s take on it:

So, in Deutch’s view, Tlaib’s honestly noting Israel’s apartheid status is consistent with “anti-Semitism.” Claiming support for equal rights is “anti-Semitism” is a disturbing diminishment of the term.

Deutch is like the white moderate that Martin Luther King, Jr. excoriated for being “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.” Much as with Fleischmann’s take, Tlaib’s very presence disrupts the routine “order” of the day.

No, he rightly claimed that lying and vilifying the world’s only Jewish state “is consistent with those who advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world. When there is no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s antisemitism.” And he’s 100% right.

But you have to love how Brown pretends to actually care about antisemitism and “disturbing diminishment of the term.”

Here is Congressman Chuck Fleischmann‘s speech:

And here is the ridiculous way Brown responds:

Fleischmann could scarcely contain himself, eagerly lambasting this outsider, this Palestinian who somehow had made it into his club. 

Arm gesticulating wildly, Fleischmann inveighed: “You just saw something on this floor I thought I would never see, not only as a member of this House, but as an American!” The comment, particularly the “American” reference, was the epitome of arrogance and entitlement, a prime example of white supremacy and a certitude that dispenses with any need to listen and perhaps even learn from new voices at the table. 

The country is changing and Fleischmann’s insulated worldview is facing an unexpected challenge from someone who has lived a very different reality than he has in his conservative congressional district in Tennessee. That’s democracy in a country that no longer has Jim Crow segregation. 

Black Americans and allies ended that Jim Crow in the state Fleischmann today represents. Eventually, Palestinians and allies will end apartheid in Israel and in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. 

If one was playing the Woke bingo drinking game, you’d be well and truly drunk after this section alone.

Brown is not finished there. He continues to explain why this is “anti-Palestinian racism“:

Furthermore, how is it not anti-Palestinian racism to call to fund rocket defense for Israeli civilians, but not for Palestinian civilians facing much greater Israeli – and American – weaponry in Gaza? 

In other words, it is anti-Palestinian racism to not call for a rocket defense system for those shooting the rockets at civilians to begin with (could you imagine how many more rockets Hamas et al would send Israel’s way if Brown would get his morally absurd wish?).

Under the subsection titled “Mob Mentality”, Brown laments not only the lack of support for Tlaib, but the fact fellow Democrats called her out on her antisemitism:

And then not one Democrat stood up to defend Tlaib. In fact, Congresswoman Kathy Manning, a Democrat from North Carolina, told Marc Rod from Jewish Insider that she wanted to associate herself with Deutch’s comment accusing Tlaib of anti-Semitism. 

Perhaps some of her colleagues called her out for antisemitism because they oppose antisemitism?

No, they must be anti-palestinian bigots!

But none of this is surprising from someone who can speak of the power of the “Israel lobby” and then immediately deny antisemitism:

The harsh criticism is intended to be brutal and silencing or even lead to a change in position and greater deference to the preferred positions of the Israel lobby. But support for equal rights is not anti-Semitism, no matter what anti-Palestinian racists like Fleischmann and Deutch claim.

Rashida Tlaib was rightly condemned for her antisemitism. Suck it up Buttercups!

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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