GOP Congressman Pushes Back on Rashida Tlaib’s Planned West Bank Trip
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who is aiming to take a delegation of congressional representatives to the West Bank, is getting some pushback from Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX). He wrote a letter to every Democratic House Committee Chair urging them not to authorize Tlaib's trip, which is commonly referred to as a CODEL or a congressional delegation. Babin claims the trip would threaten the U.S.' relationship with Israel and would be a misappropriation of taxpayer dollars. “It's disappointing that during a historic government shutdown, my colleague from Texas, Congressman Babin, would send a letter full of falsehoods and fear-mongering to attempt to block my plans to take a delegation to Palestine--disappointing but not surprising. Representative Babin has a history of supporting discriminatory policies, including President Trump's Muslim ban--a degrading executive order,” Tlaib replied. As the first Palestinian American woman elected to Congress, she said her group would focus on issues like the detention of Palestinian children, education, access to clean water, and poverty. “I want us to see that segregation and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region,” Tlaib said. The trip is a counterbalance of the regularly scheduled trip to Israel for newly elected members sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel lobby group. “I don’t think AIPAC provides a real, fair lens into this issue. It’s one-sided. ... [They] have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there,” Tlaib said. She also said, “Right now, I'm focused on taking action to re-open the government. I hope Rep. Babin does the same.” More here.