Newly elected Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American woman, will represent the district in Detroit that had been filled by a place-holder after Democrat John Conyers, who had represented Michigan for over 50 years, resigned from Congress in 2017 amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers for decades.
Tlaib (pronounced tah-LEEB) joins her fellow Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who handily won her seat in New York’s 14th district on election night 2018. Both are expected to be at the vanguard of pushing the Democratic Party further to the Left.
Making no bones about it, the DSA describes itself as a socialist party.
We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.
In addition to sharing a party with Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan’s Tlaib shares a bond with Minnesota’s Congresswoman-elect, Somali former refugee Ilhan Omar, as the first Muslim female members of Congress.
Off to a flying start as a media darling, a video of Tlaib went viral after she declared victory.
It shows Tlaib joyfully wrapping herself in the Palestinian flag and tearfully hugging her mother who is a Palestinian immigrant to America.
However, the 42-year-old attorney Rashida Tlaib is not an immigrant. She was born in America and educated here.
Born Rashida Harbi in Detroit, she was the oldest of 14 children of a mother who is from a small West Bank village near Ramallah.
Tlaib is her married name. At age 22, she married a relative of her mother’s from the West Bank.
Socialist Tlaib received her law degree from Lansing, Michigan’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2004. In 2017, Cooley was ranked among the worst law schools in America by Above the Law, a website that tracks law school success rates.
She has spent the entirety of her over four decades as an American, living, going to school and serving in the Michigan House of Representatives having won her seat there only four years after completing law school.
It may have been her law school training that helped launch her media stardom. In 2016 she confronted then candidate Donald Trump at the Detroit Economic Club by shouting from the audience, “Have you ever read the U.S. Constitution?”
She had to be forcibly removed from the room.
It is no surprise then that, as Congresswoman-elect, for Michigan’s 13th district, Tlaib plans to make the impeachment of the President one of her top priorities.
However, as a self-avowed proud Palestinian-American she will be promoting her anti-Israel views from her perch in Washington, as Breitbart reporter Joel Pollack said on the day after the election:
Tlaib explicitly supports the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and its replacement of a unitary Palestinian state. That position caused her to lose the endorsement of the far-left group J Street — which, while often adopting anti-Israel positions, nominally supports a two-state solution.
In August, J Street, a well-known hard Left Jewish organization withdrew its earlier endorsement of Tlaib after learning about her extremist views on Israel.
– – –
Anna Marie Bolton is a reporter for The Ohio Star.
Photo “Rashida Tlaib” by rashidaforcongress.com.