What did Joe Biden promise Rashida Tlaib? Congresswoman has heated exchange with POTUS on Israel-Hamas conflict
Tlaib reportedly told Biden that the US could not 'continue to give the right-wing Netanyahu government billions each year to commit crimes against Palestinians'
President Joe Biden and Democratic Rep Rashida Tlaib had a tense, roughly eight-minute exchange on the airport tarmac in Detriot, shortly after Biden's arrival on Tuesday, May 18.
The congresswoman refused to divulge details of her conversation with the president. However, Biden was seen patting her shoulder. He later showered praise on her during a speech in Dearborn, Fox News reported.
What did Joe Biden promise Rashida Tlaib?
"I want to say to you that I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many other people. And it's from my heart," Biden said of Tlaib at the Dearborn Ford factory.
He also made a personal promise to the Congresswoman, saying: "I pray that your Grandma and family are well, I promise to do everything you see that they are in the West Bank."
"You're a fighter," he added. "And God, thank you for being a fighter."
During his speech in Dearborn, Biden directly addresses Rashida Tlaib: "And from my heart, I pray that your grandma and family are well. I promise you I'll do everything to see that they are, on the West Bank. You're a fighter and God thank you for being a fighter." pic.twitter.com/9pridgSluC— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 18, 2021
What did Rashida Tlaib tell Joe Biden?
NPR later revealed details of the tarmac conversation, reporting how Tlaib conveyed to Biden her dissatisfaction with the United States' response to the current Israel-Hamas skirmish, which has entered its second week.
"Palestinian human rights are not a bargaining chip and must be protected, not negotiated," an aide told NPR of what Tlaib expressed to Biden. "The U.S. cannot continue to give the right-wing [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government billions each year to commit crimes against Palestinians. Atrocities like bombing schools cannot be tolerated, much less conducted with U.S.-supplied weapons."
Earlier this week, it emerged that the US was conducting an arms sale to Israel worth $735 million, a deal that irked several Democrats in Washington and prompted calls to halt the sale.
"Congresswoman Tlaib reiterated that the status quo is enabling more killing, that the current US approach of unconditional support for the Israeli government is not working, and that the White House must do far more to protect Palestinian lives, dignity, and human rights," the aide said.
Upon arrival in Michigan, President Biden was seen talking to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who has been critical of his stance on Israel. Last night on MSNBC, she said, "I hope my president, our president, speaks up & speaks truth about what exactly is happening because I know they know." pic.twitter.com/vu5etR3UYx— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 18, 2021
It's worth noting that Tlaib, who is serving as the representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district since 2019, has been fiercely critical of the Biden administration's handling of the recent skirmish between Hamas and Israel.
"If you support a cease-fire, then get out of the way of the UN Security Council and join other countries in demanding it," she said in a tweet directed at the president and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "Apartheid-in-chief Netanyahu will not listen to anyone asking nicely," she continued. "He commits war crimes and openly violates international law."
Meanwhile, Tlaib has also called on Biden to stop funding for Israel, claiming the weapons provided were used to "kill children and families."
"Enough, President Biden," Tlaib said during an appearance on MSNBC Monday. "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." The recent escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas has reportedly resulted in the death of at least 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. On the other hand, Israel has reported 12 deaths, including that of a five-year-old boy.