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Rashida Tlaib makes a big statement at Trump's SOTU speech with a Palestinian thobe Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Rashida Tlaib makes a big statement at Trump's SOTU speech with a Palestinian thobe

Tlaib walked out in protest before the end of his speech [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 February, 2020

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Tlaib has used her unique political platform to speak out against Donald Trump.
America's first Palestinian Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wore a traditional thobe during Donald Trump's State of the Union address, a statement of the Democrats' heritage after the president's pro-Israel Deal of the Century peace plan was unveiled last week.

Another Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also wore a traditional Somali outfit in a protest against the US president who has enacted a series of "anti-Muslim" measures.

Both Congresswomen have spoken out against Trump in the past over infamous Muslim ban and his contested Middle East "peace plan", which has been criticised by human rights organisations and international leaders alike. 

"I'm joining my sisters in Congress in wearing white-my white #PalestinianThobe--to #SOTU," Tlaib tweeted, in reference to the other female Democrats who wore white as a hat tip to the suffragist movement.

"Being #unapologeticallyMe is my way of protesting this #ImpeachedPresident."

"Yes sis, our presence is resistance. I am wearing my Ayeeyo's Cambuur garbeed and bringing the Arawelo spirit to the people's house," Omar added, quote-tweeting Tlaib’s tweet.

Tlaib joined multiple Democrats who walked out before Trump finished his address.

"I walked out of that speech," Tlaib later tweeted. "The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live - it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president."

At least eight other Democrats boycotted Trump's address, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Maxine Waters (Calif.).

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted earlier on Tuesday that she would not use her "presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct [and] subversion of the Constitution".

"None of this is normal, and I will not legitimise it," she added.

Trump’s speech, themed "The Great American Comeback" hit a nerve on a number of topics for Democrats, including the contested Middle East 'peace plan' he and his son-in-law Jared Khushner created.

Last week Tlaib denounced on the House floor a two-state resolution from the vantage point of universal human rights, and called Palestinian statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip "unrealistic" and "unattainable".

She also made the case that a two-state resolution "legitimises inequality, ethnic discrimination and inhuman conditions".

Referencing the US' shameful legacy of Jim Crow, Tlaib declared that "separate but equal didn't work in our country, and I can't see that it is possible in other countries. Given our nation's history of segregation, we should recognise when such injustices are occurring".

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