Evan Fuchi / AP
In a prominent conversation on the tarmac, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib conveyed to President Biden her dissatisfaction with the United States’ response to the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas, which is now in its second week, according to her office.
Tlaib, the first woman of Palestinian descent to serve in Congress, told Biden that Palestinians should be protected, and she shared her harsh assessment of Israel’s role in escalating violence, a congressman’s office aide said in a statement.
Their conversation came after Biden landed in Detroit on Tuesday, before his visit to the Ford Electric Vehicle Center in nearby Dearborn, and with mounting global pressure on Israel and Hamas to call for a truce in their fight.
Dearborn is home to a large Arab American population, and protesters took to the streets on Tuesday in the city to express their support for the Palestinians.
An aide to Biden said, “The human rights of the Palestinians are not a bargaining chip and should be protected, not negotiated.” The United States cannot continue to be sworn in [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government billions annually for crimes against the Palestinians. Atrocities such as the bombing of schools cannot be tolerated, let alone perpetrated with weapons provided by the United States. “
It was reported this week that the United States is taking place Sell weapons For Israel it is valued at about $ 735 million – a deal that has surprised many lawmakers in Washington and sparked calls for a halt to the sale until a ceasefire is reached.
“Congresswoman Tlaib reiterated that the current situation allows for more killing, that the current US approach to unconditional support for the Israeli government is not working, and that the White House must do more to protect the lives of Palestinians, their dignity, and human rights,” the aide said.
Tlaib’s statements to the president came as a repetition of an enthusiastic speech he gave to Parliament last week, in which she called for an end to the “apartheid regime” and “racism” which she said the Israeli government imposed on the Palestinians.
Biden, like his predecessors in the White House, expressed support for Israel and its right to defend itself, while encouraging Israel to protect innocent civilians.
In a carefully worded statement, the White House said that when Biden spoke with Netanyahu on Monday, he “expressed support for the ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards this end.”
Criticism from Tlaib and other progressive Democrats reflects the diverse views of the party on the longstanding tensions in the Middle East.
Speaking at the Ford Factory after the brief meeting with Taleb, Biden praised the Detroit congresswoman for her interest in human rights.
Biden said, “I admire your intelligence, and I admire your passion and admire your interest in so many other people.”
“You are a fighter, and God thanks you for being a fighter,” he said, promising to do everything in his power to ensure the Tlaib family remains safe in the West Bank.