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Lebanese Pundit: Congresswoman Tlaib Is Too Supportive of Hezbollah, Iran

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Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, August 7 2018. (Photo VOA / Flickr - https://www.voanews.com/a/palestinian-american-congressional-candidate-source-of-west-bank-pride/4519493.html)
Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, August 7 2018. (Photo VOA / Flickr – https://www.voanews.com/a/palestinian-american-congressional-candidate-source-of-west-bank-pride/4519493.html)

Not only are Americans concerned about Congresswoman Tlaib, another Arab journalist just entered the fray.

As Clarion wrote earlier this month, new Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has some disturbing connections. Among the guests at her post-swearing-in dinner was one Abbas Hamideh, an anti-Semite and supporter of Hezbollah, one of the world’s most powerful terrorist organizations.

The story peaked the interest of Lebanese reporter and analyst Huda el-Husseini, who described Hamideh as “one of the greatest supporters of Hezbollah in America (Arabic link).” El-Husseini wrote her thoughts on Tlaib in a detailed opinion piece in the leading Arabic daily a-Sharq al-Awsat.

Tlaib posted a tweet of herself holding a poster with Hamideh. The poster depicts Tlaib in a keffiyah (traditional Arabic scarf), which is also wrapped around the Congress building.

As for Hamideh, writes el-Husseini, “under a picture of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, he posted a tweet saying ‘Always loved this heroic resistance leader! Long live Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah!'”

 

While Tlaib was strengthening her relations with Hamideh, the U.S. was busy increasing pressure on Lebanon because of Hezbollah, el-Husseini writes. The journalist claims there is American documentation that connects Tlaib to the “opposition axis,” which in all probability is a reference to Iran and its allies. El-Husseini further alleges Tlaib changed some of her pre-election pledges because of her relationship with Hamideh, particularly regarding the Palestinian issue.

“Why does a new member of Congress behave in this way by publicly supporting a person who in turn publicly supports Hezbollah, which in turn is supported by Iran?” asks el-Husseini. “I came to my conclusion at the very moment Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Middle East to discuss a way to block Iran’s hostile opposition and its intervention in the affairs of Arab countries, its support of Hamas in Gaza at the expense of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, while at the same time Washington encourages Lebanon to do whatever it can to reduce Hezbollah’s influence on all [Lebanon’s] institutions.

“Maybe Tlaib should ask Hamideh what the Lebanese people are asking: To where does Hezbollah want to take Lebanon?”

El-Husseini accuses Tlaib of naivete, pointing out that Tehran is merely using the Palestinian issue as a smokescreen to “cover [Iran’s] aspirations to expand into Arab countries.” She also accuses Iran of involving Syria in a war with Israel after the Syrian civil war has virtually ended.

“Congratulations to Tlaib on being a Palestinian who made it into Congress in the hope that she works for peace in the Middle East. Maybe she should really be looking at the issue of Palestinian refugees and the problems faced by Syrian refugees.”

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Ran Meir

Ran Meir is Clarion Project's Arab affairs analyst and a Shillman Fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]