Rep. Rashida Tlaib, frequently accused of anti-Semitism, retweeted a post that contained a phrase that is a motto used by Hamas and other Israel-haters that explicitly calls for the total annihilation of Israel.
Tlaib Call for Solidarity With Palestinians: From the River to the Sea
Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), born in Detroit to Israeli Arab immigrants, retweeted a post promoting the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an UN-organized event held on November 29. But her retweet contained the phrase, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Rashida Tlaib RT’s out the same message that got Marc Lamont Hill canned from CNN.
From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free – code for eradicating the State of Israel and its millions of Jews.
Reminder – this is a sitting U.S. Congresswoman pic.twitter.com/zEWOptrGPW
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) November 30, 2020
Anti-Semitic and Genocidal Phrase Used by Hamas
By retweeting this phrase, Tlaib is quoting Hamas. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Hamas official Halil Al-Hayya said in an interview in 2010:
“Palestine is Islamic, and not an Islamic emirate, from the river to the sea, that unites the Palestinians. Jews have no right in it, with the exception of those who lived on the land of Palestine before World War I.”
Similarly, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri gave a televised address at a rally in Gaza, in 2005, saying:
“We have come here in multitudes to proclaim that Hirbiya and Ashkelon will be taken by the mujahideen. We have come here to say that the weapons of the resistance that you see here will remain, Allah willing, so that we can liberate Palestine – all of Palestine – from the Sea to the River, whether they like it or not.”
StopAntisemitism.org reacted to the post:
“Rashida Tlaib RT’s out the same message that got Marc Lamont Hill canned from CNN,” the organization tweeted. “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free – code for eradicating the State of Israel and its millions of Jews. Reminder – this is a sitting U.S. Congresswoman.”
When Lamont Hill used the offensive phrase at the Solidarity with the Palestinian People last year, the ADL commented:
“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.” It’s a shame that once again, this annual Palestinian event at the UN does not promote pathways to a future of peace & instead promotes divisiveness and hate.”
“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.” It’s a shame that once again, this annual Palestinian event at the UN does not promote pathways to a future of peace & instead promotes divisiveness and hate. https://t.co/U1FgZ3JZvm
— ADL (@ADL) November 29, 2018
The Daily Beast, a left-wing publication, wrote the following about the meaning of the phrase:
The river in this formulation is the Jordan, the naturally occurring eastern border of Israel and of the West Bank; the sea is the Mediterranean to the west. Uttered by advocates of the Palestinian cause for decades, the pithy slogan very pointedly makes no place for Israel. It evokes a strip of Middle Eastern land where Israel is no more, replaced by a unified Palestinian entity in the space it once occupied. It could be that this entity would welcome and protect a Jewish population. But when supporters of the Jewish state hear those 10 words, they worry about their potentially violent implications.
Tlaib later replaced the tweet, removing the phrase with, “
“Thinking of my sity [grandmother] Muftieh and family in Palestine today. From Detroit to Gaza, we will always fight against oppression and inequality.”
It should be noted that Talib’s post was very much in the spirit of the UN’s intentions. In 2005, the UN event included a map that showed all of Israel replaced by Palestine and was attended by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other senior UN officials.
Tlaib: The Choice of Israel-Hating Jews
Ironically, Tlaib is slated to speak at a panel discussion alongside Lamont Hill titled “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice” co-hosted by the left-wing anti-Israel group Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP).
Like JVP, Tlaib advocates for BDS and a one-state solution that does not include Israel. Born to Arab-Israeli immigrants, Tlaib is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. In 2019, Tlaib was being interviewed for a Skullduggery Podcast when she made the following statement concerning the Holocaust:
“There’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust in the fact that it was my ancestors – Palestinians – who lost their land; and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity. Their existence in many ways had been wiped out, and some people’s passports – I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that – right? – in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away – right – and it was forced on them.”