Only a week after she was mercilessly criticized for wondering aloud if Joe Biden’s new, Jewish Secretary of State would allow her the “freedom” to advocate against Israel, Rep. Rashida Tlaib waded again into antisemitic waters on Sunday when she retweeted a phrase often associated with calls to wipe Israel off the map.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” she retweeted.
As the hate watch group StopAntisemitism.org noted, this phrase is commonly used by people who want to eliminate the Jewish state.
“Rashida Tlaib RT’s out the same message that got Marc Lamont Hill canned from CNN,” they wrote. “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.”
The phrase, which may seem like harmless, rah-rah rhyming at first glance, actually has a darker meaning than is immediately obvious. The river referenced by the phrase is the Jordan, which forms the eastern border of Israel against the West Bank. The sea refers to the Mediterranean, which forms Israel’s western border. When Palestinians recite this phrase, they are literally imagining a world in which Israel – the land in between the “river” and the “sea” – does not exist. When Israelis and their supporters hear people using this phrase, they naturally worry that their very safety is being threatened.
It might be possible to extend the benefit of the doubt to Tlaib if this kind of thing didn’t keep coming out of her mouth. As we said, just last week, she expressed her concerns about Biden’s secretary of state pick, Antony Blinken, with commentary that reeked of anti-Jewish sentiment.
“So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies,” Tlaib tweeted. “The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.”
This drew a harsh response from Dov Hikind of Americans Against Antisemitism, who wrote, “Biden names a Jew to his cabinet – What’s Rashida’s response?! ‘Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!’ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred! That’s ALL yours!”
Well, in addition to being a rabid antisemite, Tlaib is also obsessed with identity politics. She’s a Palestinian, so she has to advocate against Israel. By that mindset, it’s obvious that she would believe that a Jewish Secretary of State would have no internal choice but to advocate against HER people. That’s why identity politics is really just racism in a new package. And it’s why Tlaib and Ilhan Omar cannot help but let their true colors bleed through.