After Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) said that members of Congress who support Israel “forgot what country they represent” earlier this year, Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) and Elaine Luria (D., Va.) met with her to talk about it. Now Tlaib says that during the meeting, Gottheimer acted as a “bully” and “had a goal of breaking me down.” Gottheimer, backed by Luria, denies this characterization. Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) is backing Tlaib.
This week’s exchange is further evidence of how thoroughly Tlaib’s side of the argument has prevailed among Democrats. In February, when the meeting took place, the prevailing sense among Democrats is that Tlaib had made damaging gaffes that the party needed to contain. Now she’s the one on the offensive.
Update: Having quoted Tlaib, let me also quote Gottheimer about this dispute. From the link above: “I have a very different recollection of the meeting she discussed. . . . I recall Rep. Luria and me honestly explaining how hurtful it is to have your loyalty to America questioned and how, historically, that has harmed the well-being of the Jewish people — those whose loyalty was put into question in the first place. Rep. Elaine Luria and I held that meeting together, at the leadership’s request, in a good faith effort to bring unity and understanding in an increasingly upsetting situation. . . . We had what we believed, at the time, was a mutually productive conversation. I’m disappointed by the misleading way this attempt to bridge differences was characterized.”