I would happily boycott Egypt or Saudi Arabia for human rights violations, Tlaib insists, responding to Tapper’s question.
Okay, he says. Then why don’t you?
I would do it if those boycott movements existed, she replies, or if there was a resolution on the House floor to that effect.
You can anticipate the reply to that: Why don’t those boycott movements exist? She’s begging the question Tapper is asking here.
And she’s a farking congresswoman. She could introduce a resolution about Egypt herself. Certainly she could use the enormous public megaphone that the Squad (and the president) have given her to broaden public awareness of human rights violations across the Middle East. So, again, to paraphrase Tapper, why doesn’t she?
The most charitable read on her comments is that Rashida Tlaib, social justice warrior, simply will not lift a finger to pressure a foreign regime unless someone else does so first. She’ll join the parade once it’s started, but don’t bug her to get it going. Just let her know where to show up after it’s begun.
The less charitable read is that, as the quote in the clip from Chuck Schumer suggests, the BDS movement and its progressive adherents have a special animus towards Israel that isn’t similarly inflamed by Islamic fascist regimes. Supply your own theory as to why.
Enjoy her displays of civic and geopolitical derring-do while you can, by the way, because Josh Kraushaar’s right that she’s probably not long for Congress:
The same identity-centered politics that generates so much attention for Tlaib and her three like-minded colleagues (Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley) is what’s jeopardizing her standing back home in her Detroit-area district. Tlaib struggled to win significant African-American support in her narrow primary win last year, and she faces the threat of a one-on-one matchup against established Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones in next year’s election.
Unlike Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, who capitalized on the diversification of their districts to defeat white incumbents, Tlaib underperformed with the nonwhite voters in her district last year. She benefited from numerous African-American candidates splitting up the black vote, allowing her to win with just 31 percent of the vote, a narrow 900-vote plurality. (With fewer candidates on the ballot, Jones defeated Tlaib narrowly in a concurrent primary election to serve out the last eight weeks of the term after Rep. John Conyers’s resignation.)
How’d Tlaib pull off her win? White progressives, of course. She’s the sort of person who runs around calling for a $20 minimum wage (while offering her own interns $15) and insisting that the left’s bete noire, Israel, be isolated internationally. Ideologues handed her her term in the House, and Tlaib must be keenly aware that her only chance at a second term depends on them turning out en masse for her in next year’s primary against Jones (who’ll doubtless have establishment Dem support in hopes that she can rid Pelosi of her Tlaib headache). That is, if nothing else, it’s in Tlaib’s political self-interest to single out Israel for special opprobrium. It’s the sort of policy trash her base wants.
She did at least acknowledge Israel’s right to exist here, albeit quickly noting that it exists to the detriment of Palestinians. Doesn’t sound too two-state-y.