Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib confronts Biden over Israel support
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib confronted President Joe Biden on Tuesday as he arrived in Michigan to visit a Ford factory near her congressional district, The New York Times reported.
Biden and Tlaib were seen shaking hands on a tarmac where she told "the president that he must do more to protect Palestinian lives and human rights", according to an aid who spoke to the paper the condition of anonymity.
The two held an intense eight-minute conversation, after she accused him "taking orders" from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian-American Tlaib has been critical of Biden's handling of Israel’s onslaught of Gaza, which has killed 217 Palestinians, including 63 children, and wounded more than 1,400 Palestinians in just over a week.
During his remarks later in the day, Biden praised the congresswoman and shared his concerns for her relatives - including her 90-year-old grandmother and uncle - living in the small West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa.
"I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, I admire your compassion and I admire your concern for so many other people," Biden said.
"I pray that your grandmom and family are well on the West Bank," he added. "You're a fighter."
As he visited the Michigan city to spotlight his big infrastructure plans, Biden was met by more than 1,000 people who rallied through the streets of Dearborn in support of the Palestinian cause.
Outside the local police department, only a few miles from where Biden spoke, protesters chanted, "Free, Free Palestine!" and waved Palestinian flags.
"We are not going to stay silent while he waltzes into our city while saying he is giving unwavering support to the Israeli government," said Amer Zahr, leader of a group called New Generation for Palestine.
"Today, we are standing up to tell the Biden administration that enough is enough," said Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and activist who ran for the Democratic nomination for Michigan governor. "If you believe in human rights, you better stand for human rights."
'Taking orders from Netanyahu'
On Twitter on Monday night Tlaib blasted Biden's support of Netanyahu who “commits war crimes and openly violates international law".
"If you support a cease-fire, then get out of the way of the U.N. Security Council and join other countries in demanding it," she tweeted. "Apartheid-in-chief Netanyahu will not listen to anyone asking nicely. He commits war crimes and openly violates international law."
Tlaib also told MSNBC that Biden's administration and other Democrats were "taking orders from Netanyahu, who is on corruption charges from stealing from his own people, the people he's supposed to be representing".
"Enough, President Biden," she said. "You will not do this on our watch. You have to speak out against this violence in a very aggressive way that holds Netanyahu and his leadership accountable."