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Liberal Washington Post columnist slams Rep. Rashida Tlaib's comments as 'bigotry'

Tlaib recently implied that Jews are responsible for the perils of the black community in Detroit

Published: August 10, 2021 7:33am

Updated: August 10, 2021 9:43am

In his new column, progressive Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank accused 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, of employing consistently bigoted tactics against the American Jewish community.

Milbank cited Tlaib's recent comments, delivered to the Democratic Socialists of America, during which she identified the ways in which Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands "really interacts" with how black Americans are treated. "Cutting people off from water is violence. And they do it from Gaza to Detroit," said the congresswoman. 

She continued by explaining that "the structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit ... If you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money – and yes they do – off of racism." 

The questionable use of the word "they," to refer implicitly or otherwise to the global Jewish population spurred a response from Anti-Defamation League leader Jonathan Greenblatt, who said, "We’ve heard this kind of ugly antisemitic dog whistling before, but it’s appalling when it comes from a member of Congress." 

Milbank wrote that Tlaib, who is herself of Palestinian descent, refused to clarify or mitigate her (latest) comments, a move he called "dumb politically," noting that her actions are particularly disconcerting given the pattern of skyrocketing antisemitic incidents seen over the last few years.   

"These antisemitic tropes have been used against the Jews for generations. If that weren’t clear enough, Tlaib let it be known that 'they' operate both in Gaza and Detroit, and only Jews meet that description," Milbank wrote. 

"Democrats and others on the left should call this what it is: bigotry," he added.

The columnist argued that Tlaib's rhetorical tactics are derived from strategies employed by the former president, writing "Few have been victimized  by Donald Trump’s hateful tactics more than Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) ... So why is Tlaib now using the Trump playbook against others?"

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