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Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joins panel Jewish panel discussion on the need to fight anti-Semitism Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joins panel Jewish panel discussion on the need to fight anti-Semitism

Tlaib said the struggle against antisemitism was connected to her own struggle for freedom [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 December, 2020

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Jewish Voices for Peace held an online panel discussion amid a backlash on past comments from some members about Israel.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) hosted an online panel discussion on Tuesday evening, including US Representative and Palestine campaigner Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, on the need to fight anti-Semitism.

Titled "Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice: A Panel Discussion" speakers discussed different strategies in fighting anti-Semitism and how the issue "connects to their own liberation struggles".

JVP, a Jewish organisation that is critical of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, came under fire prior to the event for the inclusion of Tlaib and Lamont Hill, who have both been accused of anti-Semitism in the past.

Marc Lamont Hill lost his job as a contributor with CNN when he called for a "free Palestine from the river to the sea" live on air. Tlaib has tweeted similar comments in the past, but has since deleted them.

Emily Schrader, the founder of Social Lite Creative, and the former digital director of a pro-Israel organisation, wrote an op-ed in Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, arguing that the inclusion of the two speakers was at odds with the search for peace.

Responding to the criticism, the deputy director at JVP, Rabbi Alissa Wise, told Newsweek that "it's disappointing, but not surprising, that instead of embracing an opportunity to learn about dismantling anti-Semitism through solidarity, some anti-Palestinian groups and individuals have engaged in attacks and slander before the event has even taken place".

During the event, Tlaib likened the oppression of Palestinians to her own struggles in the US.

"It's the same people oppressing us... The fight against anti-Semitism is so connected to my own freedom. To my right to live as a Muslim in this country, as a child of immigrants. It is such a strong connection. I grew up understanding that."

Read also: Tearful Tlaib says grandmother advised her against visiting Israel

Hill spoke of the global diligence needed to stop the spread of anti-Semitism.

"Right now, around the world, anti-Semitism not only exists, but it's spreading... We always have to be courageous when it comes to speaking the truth and defending anyone who is vulnerable. The fight to end anti-Semitism is as urgent as any other."

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