KEY POINTS

  • Rashida Tlaib was widely criticized for Hanukkah video
  • Many Jews seemed unhappy over the alleged politicization
  • Some Twitter users felt she hijacked the festival to attack Jews

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) posted an early Hanukkah greeting to the far-left Jewish group IfNotNow on Twitter, drawing sharp responses from a section of Jews who took offense to her remark on the “occupation” in Palestine.

Yossi Gestetner,  a Jewish community new analyst, shared a video put out by the 'Israel Advocacy Movement' on Twitter, slamming Tlaib and accusing her of politicizing Hanukkah.

“She is hijacking a Jewish festival to attack Jews and here’s the irony of it all," the man in the video said. "Hanukkah actually celebrates Jews fighting off a foreign army... Judea made up most of the West Bank and when the Romans conquered Judea... they renamed it to erase its Jewish roots. Shechem became Neapolis and the wider region including Judea became Syria Palestina. Rashida is celebrating Jewish Independence in Judea by describing the Jews that live there as occupiers. If she finds Jews living in the West Bank so offensive, it’s probably best to skip the Hanukkah message.”

Tlaib, who was named one of the most prominent proponents of anti-Semitism in 2019 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was criticized earlier this year when she talked about how her Palestinian ancestors gave a home to Jews in Israel after the Holocaust. Her comment enraged Jews who pointed to numerous acts of violence between Arabs and early Zionists.

West Bank, one of the last remaining homes of the Arab population who lived in the area that came to be Israel, is nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Though a 'two-state solution' was mooted as a solution to the ongoing conflict, Israel and the Palestine state could not agree on the borders.