Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, appeared on “Democracy Now” where she responded to President Trump’s Middle East plan.
Under the plan, Israel would gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory would be allowed to remain in their homes.
Tlaib claimed the plan was formulated with a “racist lens” that ignores Palestinian lives and aspirations.
Tlaib also says she wants people “to know what the human impact is of taking people’s land, taking people’s livelihood away from them.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib:
You know, I grew up in Detroit, the most beautiful, blackest city in the country. And so much what I learned here of these forms of kind of oppression and structural, I think, racism that is so present in all different processes, but even just, you know, fighting right now in my own backyard against unconstitutional taking of people’s homes by overassessing their homes and everything, there’s so many connectivity there to — by what the current president is pushing forward in trying to basically legalize theft for so many of the Palestinian families that are left there.
I can tell you, you know, for me, what’s really critically important for people to understand, that with all these terminologies, with colleagues always asking me, “What does occupation mean?” I want listeners to know what the human impact is of taking people’s land, taking people’s livelihood away from them. And this plan just continues to dig into that approach to what’s happening in Palestine and Israel.
And I can tell you I want to hear more and more of those that are on the ground there, both Palestinians and Israelis who are against occupation, who want to see a true solution to there that actually involves them being having a seat at the table. I think that that’s not what’s going to happen, when the president just sits with his buddies and others that only see it through a very, I believe, racist lens that is this kind of othering politics.
And also it’s very demonizing in the way the president and even his son-in-law and others have depicted Palestinians, as this is what they deserve, they don’t deserve anything more. Well, I can tell you, my grandmother lives in the West Bank, and she deserves human dignity. And this does not provide her human dignity, especially in her last years. She is a kind, compassionate woman who just wants to live freely with equality, with the freedom to travel, with the freedom to access healthcare, opportunities that help her have a better life.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com