Rashida Tlaib and Andrew Lapin
Rashida Tlaib and Jewish News editor Andrew Lapin. (Glenn Triest)

Read our interview with Rep. Tlaib and our companion story about how local Jews are reacting to Tlaib’s primary campaign.

The Jewish News has indeed “done something” about Rashida Tlaib.

“When are you going to do something about Rashida Tlaib?”

The Jewish News receives some variation of this question from our readers about once a week. Usually it’s tied into something the Detroit Congresswoman has said or tweeted about Israel, but the message is always the same: We are Detroit’s Jewish publication of record. If a notable community figure has sparked a contentious national debate about Jews and Israel, it should be our responsibility to address this person in our pages.

Andrew Lapin
Andrew Lapin

Well, this week, on the occasion of her looming primary, new PBS documentary and various other news items involving her and her district, we have indeed “done something” about Rashida Tlaib. We have conducted our first-ever interview with her and prepared a separate feature about the local Jewish reaction to her.

I don’t know if this will fit every reader’s definition of “doing something” about a local member of Congress who expresses vocal support for the global BDS movement and isn’t shy about criticizing (some would say slandering) Israel on the national stage. But this fits my definition and the publication’s; the JN has been trying to talk to Rep. Tlaib since she assumed office in 2018. We often interview polarizing figures in these pages. Because this is what we do when we confront something difficult in our community. We talk about it. 

I imagine this issue will spark some debate. I hope that debate can be respectful, and I hope to hear from you: We will run responses to the interview in an upcoming issue. One area where Rep. Tlaib and I are closely aligned is that it’s valuable to have conversations like this with people who may disagree with you, particularly when the matter at hand is so deeply intertwined with questions of religion and national identity.

We are living in a very challenging moment for Israel; for Detroit; for the Jewish people; and for the world at large. To survive as a people, we must be willing to talk: to each other and to others. After all, dialogue is a sacred Jewish value.

You can reach Andrew Lapin at alapin@thejewishnews.com.

8 COMMENTS

  1. You say to survive as a nation we must be “willing to talk to others”? When has talking to our enemies saved us in the past?

    I could see an article like this is the Detroit News but not the Jewish News. She supports a one state solution with Israel gone. By you asking these one sided and easy “lobs” questions and calling it news is a joke. And you should be ashamed to represent the community. The only news here is the threat she and the Palestinian Authority poses to the Jewish people, but you didn’t ask the hard questions, like: Are the Palestinians following a decent model to govern? Should the US follow the same model? And if so, Should we like the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip arbitrarily arrested tens of peaceful demonstrators and critics? The West Bank authorities persisted in their crackdown on online expression, blocking access to dozens of websites. Palestinian forces in Gaza used excessive force in response to peaceful protests. Is Talib aware of the Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees commonly reported and were committed with impunity under both authorities? How does Talib feel about Women in the West Bank and Gaza faced discrimination and violence; at least 24 women and girls were reported to have been victims of “honour” killings this year? What is her stance on LGBTI? At least eight lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people were subjected to arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment in relation to their sexual orientation or gender identity. What is her stance on the legal system? As Courts in Gaza continued to hand down death sentences. The High Judicial Council, a body established to enhance the independence of judges, was dissolved. Punitive measures imposed by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank exacerbated the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fire indiscriminate rockets into Israel, killing Israeli civilians and destroying property. Palestinian Israeli’s stabbing Jewish Israeli citizens as a form of protest. Is this justified and something that needs to happen in America to find justice?

  2. At last she has a “voice”. Israel gets such great press in the media that it is about time some publication let her speak against them. How stupid have the Jewish people become that you can help justify her anti-Semitism? Maybe the Saudis, Iranians or CAIR will give this useful fool publisher space to defend Israel? Idiots!

  3. There is a difference between a critic and an enemy. A critic is a person who judges the merits or shortcomings of another party and may offer them suggestions on how to make improvements.

    An enemy is a person,whose sole goal is to win by beating another party. To destroy that party.

    In my opinion you just did a bullshit softball interview with a true enemy of Israel. A one state solution means the destruction of the Jewish state. Further you put said enemy of Israel on the cover of your shitty publication.

    I subscribed to the Jewish News just so I could angrily unsubscribe.

    Congratulations on becoming the editor of the Jewish News. You suck. The cap and gown issue is pretty good though.

  4. Absolutely outrageous that you would even think it is necessary to interview an anti semite.
    The hater of Israel and Jews in general just got a pass from you. Remember we teach people how to treat us and by giving her a softball interview you just gave her a pass to continue her vile ways. You absolutely do not understand that appeasing the enemy does not work and you don’t have ancient history to show you what happens. Outrageous!!!!

    I am not a subscriber, I read the paper online and after today, no more!

    You should truly be ashamed of yourself. Perhaps you should reread Niemoller’s poem.

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    You did not speak out against Tlaib….

  5. It will be the last Jewish News my family ever buys. To let this anti-semite have the cover? I can’t even begin to fathom this

  6. You certainly have done something with her. You have given this rabid, anti-semite, publicity, and a platform, during an election.

    I don’t believe you care about dialogue. When you have covered a Trump rally, you didn’t interview the people in the actual rally, you interviewed critics of it.

    You then criticized those in a Trump rally who want to open a business for not wearing masks, but yet you have no issue with those gathering not wearing masks, if it it’s to loot business.

    You don’t criticize the BLM and Antifa, terrorist activities for their criminal activities, but you criticize those that get together publically, who wish to worship or protest peacefully because they are concerned about their income.

    Then during a Trump rally you will find the person with a sign that compares Whitmer to Hitler, and make the whole coverage about that, ignoring the over whelming majority of the protestors, but you give positive coverage to the BLM group, whose platform is anti-semitic and who have rioted against Jews & Israel. They have also incited murdering police officers, looting, assault, and arson.

    Additionally, you don’t seem to have an issue with Nazi comparisons, when it suits your purpose, such as comparing American historical monuments, to be similar to monuments of Nazis.

    I really don’t believe you care about letting readers read about different viewpoints. You want readers to only read your viewpoints; actually, you allow other viewpoints, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your viewpoint.

    The far left bias was getting really bad, but putting Tlaib, on the cover, and making her your profile takes it to a whole other level, and it has made the Jewish News an obvious hard left wing propaganda publication.

    If you say you are going to allow readers to read over viewpoints, then you should actually allow other viewpoints to be published, that even conflict with your left wing ideology.

    You are outright hostile to conservative viewpoints, but you defend the most far left wing violent viewpoints.

    You once wrote that to not allow other viewpoints would hurt your integrity as an editor.I would ask you to self-reflect in what it is you are doing. You are either an editor with integrity or you are a person pushing his own ideology on the readers. You can’t be both.

  7. Thank you, Andrew Lapin. It is brave indeed to break this taboo. I do believe in dialogue. Most of the negative comments here conflate criticism of the policies of the State of Israel and antisemitism. This is a tendency that is growing, and the howling is strident. Has this conflation induced hearing loss? It seems people can’t even understand the difference between talking about the Israeli government and talking about Jewish people. Talking about the Israeli government’s plans to double down on the restriction on the lives of Palestinians and to annex remaining territories is in the news. Let’s discuss alternatives.

  8. Thanks Andrew for having the courage to foster connection and understanding between us all.

    You must be on the right path given the threatened, ageing, anti-Palestinian voices you predictably elicited. These decrepit voices attempt to defend the discriminatory polices and gross human rights violations of an ethnocentric state here and abroad. Young Jews of conscience who serve justice thank you as do all of us for whom the liberation of all requires the liberation of each.

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