Top Democrat Rushes to Defend Rashida Tlaib Over Palestinian Flag: 'Doesn't Mean She's a Terrorist'

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Amid an intensely volatile situation playing out in Israel after terrorist organization Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israeli civilians and soldiers, controversies continue to arise in America’s political scene. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who has elicited criticism for years due to her antisemitic comments and seeming support of Palestinian extremist groups, is once again facing scrutiny because of her decision to fly the Palestinian flag outside her office in Congress.

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Tlaib has been criticized for having the flag in the past. But now, as Israel is enmeshed in a brutal war against a group bent on its destruction, the issue is becoming more prevalent, especially since Tlaib is expected to represent American citizens.

The lawmaker has been lambasted by many on social media, who argued that her display of the flag is inappropriate against the backdrop of the Israel war. However, there was at least one Democrat who was willing to don the cape and tights and fly to her rescue. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) defended Tlaib when asked about the issue. He noted that she is a Palestinian American and said her flying the flag “doesn’t mean she’s a terrorist” or that she “condones” Hamas actions, which have resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people, including 22 Americans.

“I fly a Danish flag…at my house,” Hoyer added.

The flag issue might not be as controversial if Tlaib did not have a history of making bigoted comments about Israel and the Jewish people. Even during this current crisis, Tlaib issued a statement in which she went easy on Hamas while savaging Israel for its government’s policies in the region.

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I grieve the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today, and every day. I am determined as ever to fight for a just future where everyone can live in peace, without fear and with true freedom, equal rights, and human dignity. The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation, and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance. The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence. We cannot ignore the humanity in each other. As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue.

Earlier this week, a reporter asked Tlaib about the revelation that Hamas operatives had slaughtered 40 babies and burned children alive. Even in the face of this cruelty exhibited by the organization, Tlaib couldn’t be bothered to issue a condemnation or express sympathy for Hamas’ victims.

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The reality is that every innocent life lost in this conflict is a tragedy. But if Tlaib truly cared about the suffering of the Palestinians, she would not be so soft on Hamas, which has been the chief oppressor of the people living in the Gaza Strip since it took over governance in 2007.

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