Rep. Rashida Tlaib criticized for Mid East office map which does not show Israel

In an interview in August 2018 she explicitly said that she does not want two states side by side:

Question: “What about a two-state solution vs. one-state?”

Tlaib: “One state. It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work… This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work” (In These Times, 14 August 2018).]

“When the word ‘Palestine’ appears on a map in her office with an arrow pointing to Israel, and if she only wants one state, then a natural conclusion is that she wants ‘Palestine’ to replace Israel,” PMW says.

PMW notes that in the same interview, Tlaib was asked about Arabs who left Israel having a “right of return” to Israel. According to PA figures there are over five million “refugees” - meaning people who left Israel and their descendants - for whom the PA claims a “right of return.” Were those millions of Arabs to immigrate to Israel it would turn into a Palestinian state. This is what Tlaib said about the “right of return”:

Question: “Where do you stand on Palestinian right of return-support or oppose?”

Tlaib: “I support right of return absolutely. I have family that left in 1967. They left, took their keys with them. They thought they could come back, and they’ve never been back. My uncle… had to raise his kids in Jordan.”

“Since Tlaib openly says ‘it has to be one state,’ and she ‘supports right of return’ - meaning she wants her uncle from Jordan and Arabs from other countries to ‘return,’ it is again clear that the ‘one state’ she wants is a state of Palestine,” PMW says. 

“In summary, if there’s only ‘one state’ and ‘Palestine’ is on the map, then ‘Palestine’ is the one state and it replaced Israel.”

Tlaib’s has caused further unease by appearing to accuse some member of Congress of dual loyalty for opposing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for economically punishing Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian territories. Some in the BDS movement also question the right of Israel to exist.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued the following statement in response to Tlaib’s recent tweet, in which she made her allegations:

Representative Tlaib’s tweet regarding the pending bill on the Senate floor has been interpreted by some as suggesting that Jews or Members of Congress, such as the sponsors of the bill, are more loyal to Israel than to their own country. Whether or not this was her intent, this type of language is deeply problematic.

Historically, the allegation of mixed loyalty or dual loyalty has been leveled as a smear against many kinds of Americans – including against Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish Senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism. It is a long-standing anti-Semitic trope connected to the idea that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country, or that U.S. legislators — for some conspiratorial reason — are more concerned about issues related to Israel than U.S. national interest. 

We can — and should — have policy differences and debates. There is no reason to include implicit or explicit accusations of dual loyalty when otherwise criticizing legislation that bears on Israel. We reached out to Representative Tlaib’s office to clarify her motive in using this language, and to discuss concerns about the history and context of the allegations of dual loyalty that have been leveled at Jewish Americans at various times in our history. We have encouraged her to publicly clarify her intent.