Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Friday came to the defense of an anti-Israel activist voted off the Women’s March board earlier in the week, telling her, “we have the truth on our side.”
Tlaib took to Twitter to defend Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Billoo, who was voted off the board after serving for two days, sent out a 25-tweet thread about the vote, where she blamed an “Islamophobic smear campaign” and “right-wingers” for the scrutiny she and her colleagues received.
“#FreePalestine always sis! They won’t silence us for speaking out against human rights violations,” Tlaib tweeted. “They will lie, smear our names and call us anti this and that, but we always be pro- humanity & we have the truth on our side. Stay strong @ZahraBilloo.”
Billoo, who has been a vocal supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), said the campaign against her was “driven by people who oppose me and my work challenging the occupation of Palestine, our country’s perpetuation of unjust and endless wars, and law enforcement operations targeting the American Muslim community.”
She has sent out several controversial tweets over the last decade, including tweets attacking U.S. troops, Memorial Day, and Israel. Back in 2016, she quote-tweeted a Twitter user asking her whether she believes it’s “wrong” for the United States to honor soldiers on Memorial Day. She replied, “You think we should honor people who commit war crimes?”
She also refers to Israel as “Apartheid Israel” multiple times on her Twitter account and claims Israel “commits war crimes as a hobby” and “kills children as a hobby.”
This isn’t the first time Tlaib has sided with someone vehemently opposed to Israel. Tlaib met with anti-Israel activist Joe Catron during American Muslims for Palestine Advocacy Day back in April. Catron and the New Jersey AMP chapter support the the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement which wages economic boycotts on the Jewish state.
The Anti-Defamation League previously stated the BDS movement is “the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence” and has been critical of AMP for helping promote anti-Semitism.
Tlaib also took a picture back in January with Abbas Hamideh, a “Palestinian right of return” activist with a history of calling Israel a “terrorist entity.” He attended Tlaib’s swearing-in ceremony and a private dinner afterwards.