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US’ Rashida Tlaib under fire for using Israel-made website

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib delivers a speech at the event that was held by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington DC, United States on 10 January 2019 [Safvan Allahverdi/Anadolu Agency]
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib delivers a speech at the event that was held by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington DC, United States on 10 January 2019 [Safvan Allahverdi/Anadolu Agency]

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has come under fire for using an Israeli-made web platform to create her website, despite voicing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Tlaib – who in November became the first Palestinian-American and one of two Middle Eastern Muslim women elected to Congress – has openly expressed her support of the BDS movement, which calls for a boycott of Israeli-made products and services and those companies which support Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

However, the UK-based Israel Advocacy Movement this weekend revealed that Tlaib’s website was apparently created using Wix.com, an Israeli-made web development platform. By tapping into the code behind Tlaib’s campaign website, the advocacy group’s founder showed that it had been built using the Israeli platform, the Times of Israel reported.

The newly-created Democratic Majority for Israel – a pro-Israel wing of the Democratic Party – was quick to lambast the congresswoman for her faux pas, saying in a statement that it “congratulates Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for breaking her boycott of Israel”.

Tlaib has not issued a statement or commented on the allegations.

READ: Tlaib sworn in to US Congress wearing traditional Palestinian dress

Supporters of Tlaib will see the revelation as yet more evidence of a continued campaign to discredit the congresswoman for her pro-Palestinian views. When Tlaib – alongside fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar – announced earlier this month that they endorsed the BDS movement, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin slammed her position, urging his colleagues to “to reject the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred that we are starting to see infiltrating American politics and even the halls of Congress”.

As commentators have pointed out, in the short time she has sat in Congress Tlaib has been singled out for criticism more than most. In January, Tlaib expressed her agreement with US Senator Bernie Sander’s criticism of the US’ recently-passed anti-BDS bill, tweeting that “they [supporters of the bill] forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality”.

Tlaib was immediately attacked by pro-Israel representatives, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio who introduced the bill. Rubio denounced Tlaib’s tweet, saying: “This “dual loyalty” canard is a typical anti-Semitic line. #BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying #Israel…”

READ: US ‘unconstitutional’ anti-BDS law challenged in Maryland court

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