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 PelosiPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Calif.) to block freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Bill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight 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 TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 OmarHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' Trump seeks to expand electoral map with New Mexico rally 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.