Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) responded to backlash over taking a photo this month with an activist who’s called Israel a “terrorist entity” and whose founding was a “crime.”
The congresswoman was photographed with Abbas Hamideh, who has repeatedly expressed support for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, at her swearing-in ceremony in Detroit on Jan. 12.
The Anti-Defamation League is among those who have called for Tlaib to “clarify this attendance and denounce his antisemitism.”
“No matter your political persuasion, all leaders — and Americans — need to unequivocally speak out against antisemitism and hate,” posted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a Twitter thread. “That especially goes for members of Congress.”
“Days ago, @RashidaTlaib was photographed at an event with Abbas Hamideh, a man who has praised terrorist groups Hamas & Hezbollah and equated Zionists with Nazis,” he added. “We ask her to clarify his attendance and denounce his antisemitism.”
Days ago, @RashidaTlaib was photographed at an event with Abbas Hamideh, a man who has praised terrorist groups Hamas & Hezbollah and equated Zionists with Nazis. We ask her to clarify his attendance and denounce his anti-Semitism. More on Hamideh: https://t.co/sFrouCNSaZ 2/3
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) January 17, 2019
Tlaib told The Detroit Free Press last week, “A photo does not mean I agree with anything someone says. It is obvious this man thrives on media attention from his recent posts. It’s unfortunate that he was successful. I do not agree with the statements brought to my attention.”
But Hamideh told The Daily Caller last week he became acquainted with Tlaib during her congressional campaign but they don’t have a “close relationship.”
“Now, she knows me well, don’t get me wrong, and I know her well through her campaign and stuff like that — like we’ve met numerous times [at] numerous events,” said Hamideh.
Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian-American women to be elected to Congress, has come under fire for her critical stance on Israel.