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 PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.) to block freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 OmarBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Padma Lakshmi on Trump's handling of 'send her back' chant: 'It's Charlottesville 2.0' Trump defends response to rally chant: I did not 'lead people on' 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.