Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Jerry Nadler of New York are pushing back at fellow Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her claims that people can't be considered progressive if they support "Israel's apartheid government."
"The outrageous progressive litmus test on Israel by @RashidaTlaib is nothing short of antisemitic," Schultz wrote on her Twitter page Wednesday. "Proud progressives do support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Suggesting otherwise is shameful and dangerous. Divisive rhetoric does not lead to peace."
Schultz's comments come after Michigan's Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, spoke out Tuesday against Israel's government during remarks at an American Muslims for Palestine event and promised to "push back" on claims that progressives can be pro-Israel, reports The Hill.
"I want you all to know that among progressives it has become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel's apartheid government, and we will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive except for Philistine any longer," Tlaib said at the event.
Nadler also on Wednesday rejected Tlaib's claims, pointing out on Twitter that as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he rejects "the notion that one cannot support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and be a progressive."
Wrote Nadler: "I proudly embrace both of these political positions and identities, even as I have criticized some of the policies and actions of democratically-elected Israeli governments over time. I would happily put my progressive record and credentials up against anyone's. It is both wrong and self-defeating for progressive leaders to abide such an offensive litmus test."
Tlaib and other progressive Democrats, particularly her fellow "Squad" members (Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Cori Bush, D-Mo.), have often criticized Israel and raised questions about how Palestinians are treated there.
The comments come as Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is scheduled to deliver an address to the United Nations on Thursday voicing support for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt further denounced Tlaib's comments as being "absolutely reprehensible" and antisemitic.
"In one sentence, @RepRashida simultaneously tells American Jews that they need to pass an anti-Zionist litmus test to participate in progressive spaces even as she doubles down on her #antisemitism by slandering Israel as an apartheid state," Greenblatt wrote on Twitter.
"It's absolutely reprehensible and does nothing to advance the cause of peace. We call on people of goodwill and leaders across the political spectrum to make clear that such #antisemitism will not be tolerated," he said.
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