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Politics & Policy

Rashida Tlaib Hosted Activist Who Called Palestinian Terror Attack ‘Heroic’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) questions Michael Cohen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 27, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) hosted an extremist anti-Israel activist who has openly and explicitly endorsed terrorism at her congressional office in mid-April to celebrate the American Muslims for Palestine Advocacy Day.

The organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which organized the meeting, posted a photo on its Facebook page of Tlaib standing next to Joe Catron, a veteran anti-Israel activist who has openly praised various Palestinian organizations for committing acts of terrorism.

“A tip of my hat to Rashida Tlaib, who really goes above and beyond the call of duty in welcoming every supporter of Palestine to her office, listening to what we have to say, answering our questions, and posing for endless pictures,” Catron wrote on Facebook in a post first noted by the Daily Caller.

Catron serves as U.S. coordinator of the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which the U.S., Australia, Japan, Canada, and the E.U. have all designated a terrorist organization.

In 2017, Catron used his personal Twitter account to praise a PFLP-organized terror attack in which an Israeli police officer was stabbed to death. Catron shared the PFLP’s official statement praising the members who perpetrated the murder and personally referred to the attack as “heroic.”

Catron’s Twitter account features a profile picture with the Arabic phrase “If you do [more attacks on Gaza] we will do [as well], hell is waiting for you,” a mantra associated with Hamas’s military wing. Catron has also tweeted in support of Hezbollah and has urged attacks on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

Tlaib has faced significant criticism since her election over her ties to anti-Semitic Palestinian activists and her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to put financial pressure on Israel. In January, she attended a dinner with Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, who has referred to Israel as a “terrorist identity” and likened the state’s underlying ideology to that of ISIS.

Additionally, one of Tlaib’s top fundraisers, Maher Abdel-qader, has repeatedly espoused anti-Semitic tropes online. Abdel-qader created the Facebook group “Palestinian American Congress,” which often hosts anti-Semitic discussions and which Tlaib is a member of. And, in 2006, Tlaib wrote a column for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic publication Final Call.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the allegation that anti-Semitism has infected her caucus during a Sunday 60 Minutes interview.

“We have no taint of that in the Democratic party, and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean . . . that we take that bait,” Pelosi said.

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