The Biden transition team announced on Monday that Antony Blinken, the former deputy secretary of state during the Obama administration and a foreign policy adviser for Biden, was selected to head the State Department.
Speculation of Blinken’s nomination was fueling over the weekend, which sparked a reaction from the Michigan Democrat after former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir called Biden’s selection a “solid choice.”
“So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice,” Tlaib wrote on Sunday night.
Critics were puzzled by Tlaib’s tweet, many of them suggesting that the reason she invoked Israeli policy was that Blinken is Jewish.
“Biden names a Jew to his cabinet What’s Rashida’s response?! ‘Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!’ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred! That’s ALL yours!” Americans Against Antisemitism founder Dov Hikind reacted.
“You can just say you’re worried because he’s Jewish…” the Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted.
“The subtext: Blinken is Jewish so, of course, the leading anti-Semite in Congress just wants to ensure that the all-powerful Jew won’t suppress her right to condemn other all-powerful Jews,” radio host Jason Rantz said.
“You are absolutely free to be as antisemitic, racist, dishonest and hateful as you like Rashida,” author Chad Felix Greene wrote.
“Would she have said this if the nominee weren’t jewish?” Tablet Magazine associate editor Naom Blum asked.
The next day, Tlaib followed up her initial tweet condemning the Trump administration’s pro-Israel policy stance.
“Sec. Pompeo has moved to suppress BDS [Boycott, Divest, and Sanction], a peaceful protest movement protected by the 1st Amendment. I hope that Mr. Blinken and President-Elect Biden’s Administration will change course from Trump’s State Department & not target or suppress support of Palestinian human rights,” Tlaib tweeted.