Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) wants the United States to cease all funding to apartheid governments, seemingly pushing for a complete halt of U.S. aid to Lebanon. In a Tweet on Monday night, the congresswoman stated quite frankly that the “United States should stop funding apartheid governments, period.”
U.S. foreign aid shouldn’t go to apartheid governments, period.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 1, 2022
Lebanon is home to nearly 500,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps. Conditions in these camps are deplorable. The government does little to nothing to provide fundamental human rights to the Palestinian refugees or their descendants. They are prohibited from working in more than 39 professions, cannot participate in voting, cannot be elected to public office, are not granted citizenship, or own real estate.
Palestinians are not treated as foreigners under Lebanese law and – in many ways – are not treated as human. Although Palestinians have lived within Lebanese borders for more than 70 years, little attention has been paid by the international community concerning the ongoing apartheid in that country.
The United States provides Lebanon with significant foreign aid. It is its largest foreign aid donor. Much of the support is allocated explicitly for security assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces. According to the State Department, the U.S. has invested more than $2.5 billion since 2006 in Lebanon for efforts against ISIS. In 2020, Lebanon received $216 million Department of State and Department of Defense military grant assistance. The U.S. government has $1.83 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Lebanon under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.
The Biden administration provided nearly $100 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Lebanon in 2021 and has pledged additional increases. This is despite a recently vacated seat within Lebanese parliament – paving the way for terrorist organization Hizbollah to expand its power in the region further.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D) introduced a bipartisan bill in August of last year urging the European Union to designate Hizbollah a terrorist organization. Tlaib was not a co-sponsor of the bill. We reached out to Deutch for comment regarding Tlalib’s tweet but have not yet received a response.
Tlaib’s tweet comes on the heels of news that Amnesty International has penned a report labeling Israel an apartheid government. The report also accused the nation of committing crimes against humanity. Supporters of Israel worldwide voiced their outrage at Amnesty’s biased report signaling out the world’s only Jewish state – and the only democratic government in the Middle East.
Israel has been called an “apartheid” government for years. Tlaib and members of the “squad” have echoed this talking point favored by regimes like Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Venezuela. Ironically, these are some of the world’s worst human rights violators.
The truth is that there are approximately 2 million Arab Muslims living in Israel as Israeli citizens. They can own property, are represented in the Knesset, work as judges, lawyers, doctors, and teachers. They enjoy equal political and social freedom under democratic rule of law.
The allegation of ‘apartheid’ arises from the ongoing conflict between Palestinians living outside of Israeli territory in places like Gaza and the West Bank. These areas are controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. Rocket attacks are commonly launched from Gaza and fired indiscriminately at Israeli cities. When Israel responds, Tlaib and others condemn the use of force and sympathize with Hamas.
Responding to Tlalib’s tweet, Rep. Brian Mast (R) called for “someone get her a dictionary,” saying that “apartheid does not mean Jews defending themselves.”
It is unknown at this time if Tlaib will push for the U.S. to cease all aid to Lebanon given that Palestinians are living under apartheid there, or whether this is just another example of her antisemitic bias against the State of Israel.