GOP lawmaker pushes to derail Tlaib from leading delegation to West Bank

GOP lawmaker pushes to derail Tlaib from leading delegation to West Bank
© Stefani Reynolds

A Republican congressman is urging Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Can progressives govern? Dems plan hearing on emergency declaration's impact on military MORE (D-Calif.) to block freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDem lawmaker inspires social media users to share selfies in their glasses Tlaib condemns bar crawl event in Detroit as 'racist bulls---' Furor over Omar puts spotlight on AIPAC MORE (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, from leading a delegation to the West Bank, arguing that the trip would hurt U.S.-Israel relations.

Tlaib's planned delegation to the West Bank, which is set for the same time as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) trip for new members of Congress, would be "inconsistent with our national values," Texas Rep. Brian Babin (R) argued in a letter.

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"I am writing to express my extreme concern that a newly elected Member of Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, has plans to lead a taxpayer-funded Congressional delegation (CODEL) to Palestine," Babin wrote in the letter to Pelosi.

"This action, from an outspoken supporter of the 'BDS' Israeli boycott movement and whose personal vitriol led her to publicly brag about calling our President a 'mother****er' to her young son, is both ill-conceived and inconsistent with our national values," he added, referring to Tlaib's much-publicized recent comments about impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE.

Critics of the conservative-leaning AIPAC group argue that the trip for new lawmakers presents a narrow view of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and Tlaib herself has urged her fellow members of Congress to meet with Palestinian activists to hear their perspective.

"I want us to see that segregation [between Israelis and Palestinians] and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region,” Tlaib told The Intercept in December. “I don’t think AIPAC provides a real, fair lens into this issue."

"It’s one-sided," she added at the time. "[They] have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there.”

Tlaib and fellow Muslim congresswoman Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDems wish civil rights icon John Lewis happy birthday: 'We are stronger because of you' Why Omar’s views are dangerous Omar apologizes to Jewish groups over tweet condemned as anti-Semitic: reports MORE (D-Minn.) are vocal supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which urges private entities and governments to avoid business with Israel's government due to treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.