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Rep. Tlaib on Israel Not Vaccinating Palestinians: ‘Important to Know Israel Is a Racist State’

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TLAIB: “The horror stories I’m hearing currently still, as so many, again, are suffering from the aftermath, with illnesses and with other side effects of, again, poisoning their bodies with lead.”

GOODMAN: “Congress member Tlaib, you’re a Palestinian American and you’ve made history as one of two of the first Muslim American women in Congress along with Ilhan Omar. I wanted to get your reaction to, well, Israel has vaccinated more of its population, something like 20 percent of its citizens including Jewish settlers on the West Bank. It’s been hailed around the world, the most vaccinated population. You know, Palestinians have not been vaccinated. You have family in the West Bank. Human Rights Watch among many others, including so many Palestinians, have demanded that Covid-19 vaccines be provided to the more than 4.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Can you discuss this?”

TLAIB: “I mean, I think it’s really important to understand Israel is a racist state and that they would deny Palestinians like my grandmother access to a vaccine, that they don’t believe that she’s an equal human being that deserves to live, deserves to be able to be protected by this global pandemic. And it’s really hard to watch as this apartheid state continues to deny their own neighbors, the people that breathe the same air that they breathe, that live in the same communities — you could put a settlement wherever you want, but on the other side of that wall is a farm community village where my grandmother lives and many of our, you know, various family members and others that I know are trying to get to live a good life, a free life, free from these oppressive policies, these racist policies that deny them access to public health, deny them access to freedom of travel, deny them access to academic opportunities. It is so critically important that we call it out. Our country continues to enable that country and continues to enable Netanyahu who continues to spew anti-Arab rhetoric that allows violence towards Palestinians to continue in a way that is so inhumane and doesn’t follow international human rights. And so I think it’s very important. If anything, I hope my colleagues, I hope our country sees what the Palestinians have been trying to tell us for a very long time. That Israel has no intention of ever being caring or allow equality or freedom for them as their neighbors. And you can see it with the distribution of vaccine. You also saw it with the testing and tracing. My family told me they didn’t have access to testing. They would get some side effects and they would use the small little house that they had and quarantine the family member. They had no access at all for any preventive measures, any medication. And again, that continues on and we allow, again, enabling Israel to continue to do that. They have the power to distribute that vaccine to the Palestinian people, their own neighbors, again, feet away from where they live, many of which again could expose them and their family, and it doesn’t — if anything, it just reiterates what the Palestinian people and human rights groups have been telling us, is that this is an apartheid state.”

GOODMAN: “Rashida Tlaib, thank you so much for being with us, Democratic Congress member to Michigan’s 13th congressional district. And there’s not a lot to talk about of joy during these pandemic and insurrection times, but congratulations on your new little puppy Teta. Maybe one day at my new little puppies Zazu will get to meet yours.”

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