News & Politics

Marco Rubio Blasts Rashida Tlaib's Dual Loyalty Suggestion: 'Typical Anti-Semitic Line'

Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, is shown on the house floor before being sworn into the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is certainly making an impression in her first few days in the House of Representatives. Last week, she distinguished herself by vowing to “impeach the motherf***er,” referring to President Donald Trump at a event in Washington, D.C., hours after being sworn into office. She also created a stir last week when one of her friends replaced Israel with a Post-It note that says “Palestine” on a map in Tlaib’s congressional office:

Tlaib stepped in it again over the weekend when she suggested in a tweet that several U.S. senators have dual loyalties to both the United States and Israel.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and the American Jewish Committee on Monday pushed back at Tlaib, decrying her statement as “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”

Rubio, along with Senator James Risch (R-Idaho), last week reintroduced pro-Israel legislation that did not get passed in the last Congress. The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 combines several Middle East-related items into a single bill, including Syria withdrawal and financial aid to Israel.

One section of the bill, called Combating BDS Act of 2019, would protect states that penalize Israel boycotters. According to Rubio, Democrat leaders are trying to avoid a vote on his bill because it would expose how many Democrat BDS supporters are now in the Senate.

The bill empowers “state and local governments in the United States to counter the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement’s discriminatory economic warfare against the Jewish state,” a press release on Senator Rubio’s website says.

“They forgot what country they represent,” Tlaib, a Palestinian American, wrote on Twitter Sunday. “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.”

Rubio hit back on Twitter Monday morning: “This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line. #BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying #Israel.”

The Florida senator also rebutted Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after the socialist claimed the bill “punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity.”

“This is a lie,” Rubio shot back. “My bill doesn’t punish any political activity. It protects the right of local & state govts that decide to no longer do business with those who boycott #Israel.”

Rubio later divulged on Twitter that a “huge argument broke out at Senate Dem meeting last week over BDS” and Democrat leaders want to avoid a floor vote on his bill because it would expose that there is now a “significant” number of BDS supporters on their side:

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) also weighed in on Tlaib’s comment with a tweet accompanied with a photo of the congresswoman hugging someone wrapped in the Palestinian flag: