Mere days after finding herself in hot water over antisemitic remarks, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., was cheered in Dearborn during her appearance at an environmental rally.
Present with Tlaib at the Green New Deal for the People were fellow Democrats Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, Rep. Jason Morgan, D-Ann Arbor , Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City, and, according to a news release emailed to The Midwesterner, Michigan U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.
The Palestinian-American radical Tlaib sparked widespread approbation – and support – after posting on X, formerly Twitter, last Friday: “From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.”
The phrase is commonly understood as a call to destroy Israel and claim the country’s land as a one-state solution for the establishment of a Palestinian nation.
Tlaib’s tweet prompted reprimands from some Jewish politicians.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., to respond: “This phrase means eradicating Israel and Jews. Period. Dressing it up in a new PR ploy won’t change that. Only a return of hostages, eliminating Hamas and liberating Gaza from oppressive terror will save civilian lives and secure the peace, justice and dignity you seek.”
Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel directed a personal plea to Tlaib: “I have supported and defended you countless times, even when you have said the indefensible, because I believed you to be a good person whose heart was in the right place. But this is so hurtful to so many. Please retract this cruel and hateful remark.”
Despite the blowback, Tlaib appeared to a fawning audience of 120 environmental, labor, and community activists at a Sunday afternoon rally held at UAW Local 600. The event was hosted by the Green New Deal Network, Michigan Alliance for Justice In Climate, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and EJ Caucus Michigan.
A news release noted progressives were on hand to discuss U.S. climate, economic, and racial policies, while attendees chanted Green New Deal slogans. Social justice and racial equity petitions were available to sign. Rally participants promoted $1 trillion of annual federal spending on climate, equity, and labor standards.
“In neighborhoods across my district, from Dearborn to Southwest Detroit to northwest to east side to west side, the climate crisis is already here, and it is hitting our frontline communities in such a hard and painful way,” Tlaib said on Sunday.
Several Michigan Democrats, including state Reps. Jason Morgan and Dylan Wegela, appeared with @RashidaTlaib on Sunday, just days after her antisemitic rants drew condemnation from AG Dana Nessel and Sen. Jeremy Moss. pic.twitter.com/hP641oUnKB
— The Midwesterner (@Th_Midwesterner) November 6, 2023
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“We need a Green New Deal now because it’s the only climate justice solution that fights this crisis at the massive scale we need. We should put thousands of Michiganders to work in good union jobs building renewable energy infrastructure and climate mitigations we need to not just survive but thrive!”
Wegela conflated the environmental agenda with “economic and social justice.”
He added: “This fight isn’t just about climate – it’s about economic and social justice. It’s about liberation. Since 1988, just 100 companies have been responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. This fight is about corporate influence over our political system. We have to demand a cleaner world, accountability, elected officials who put people and the planet over corporations.”
Morgan addressed what he said are racial disparities.
“When we talk about the Green New Deal here in Michigan, we’re talking about ending the burning of dirty fossil fuels,” he said. “We have to stop consolidating pollution on the backs of Black and brown communities throughout our state. We have to make sure that we’re passing policies that make polluters pay to clean up their messes.”