Bernie Sanders backs Rashida Tlaib after Trump accuses Palestinian-American politician of 'hatred' towards Jews, Israel

Bernie Sanders backs Rashida Tlaib after Trump accuses Palestinian-American politician of 'hatred' towards Jews, Israel
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders slammed President Donald Trump for accusing Rashida Tlaib of having 'tremendous hated' for Jews and Israel.
3 min read
14 May, 2019
Sanders called on Trump to apologise for his accusations [Getty]

US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders came to the defence of Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib after President Donald Trump accused her of having "tremendous hatred" for Jews and Israel.

"Mr. President: Stop dividing the American people up by their religion, their race or their country of origin - and stop your ugly attacks against Muslim women in Congress," Sanders, who is Jewish, said in a tweet on Monday.

Tlaib has faced harsh censure and accusations of anti-Semitism over an interview in which she said her Palestinian "ancestors" have given Jewish refugees a "safe haven" after the Holocaust gave her a "calm feeling".

Trump had joined a chorus of Republican lawmakers who slammed Tlaib for her comments.

"Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people," the president tweeted on Monday.

"Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?"

Among other critics was Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who accused Tlaib of "anti-Semitism" and trying to "delegitimise the state of Israel".

Sanders, is leading an effort to impeach Trump, retweeted a statement by Tlaib, who wrote: "Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win."

Tlaib thanked the Democrat senator for his support and called Trump a "lawless president".

"Thanks Amo [uncle]," she said in a tweet on Monday.

"[Trump] will do anything to distract the American people from the fact he is hurting our country, our democracy and our future. We will fight against hate together, and be stronger for it."

Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress.

She and Somali-American Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar - who called Cheney "Islamophobic" over her comments about Tlaib - have repeatedly faced accusations of anti-Semitism for their pro-Palestinian stance.

Supports of the congresswomen have called such accusations Islamophobic.

Omar in particular faced extreme pressure after criticising the influence of the Israel lobby in US politics and has even faced death threats after President Donald Trump tweeted out a video of her spliced with footage of the 9/11 attacks.