In the recent legislation that granted Israel $1 billion of military aid for their Iron Dome defensive system and that passed in Congress, Rashida Tlaib, the US representative for the 13th congressional district for Michigan denounced Israel as an apartheid regime. She was the only one to do so.

In particular, Tlaib said:

The Israeli government is an apartheid regime - not my words, the words of Human Rights Watch and Israel’s own human rights watch organisation B’Tselem.

The military aid had originally been part of another bill; but was not passed, hence the separate legislation above.

Over the last few years, two human rights organisations: Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem have called the regime in Israel, an apartheid regime. The latter organisation is based in Israel.

Has anyone, other than Rashida Tlaib, who happens to be Palestinian-American (she was born in Detroit to Palestinian parents), called Israel a apartheid regime in Congress.

  • @rick smith: Why did you remove the palestine and militsry tags to this question? The qurstion is about militsry funding and the politics is to do with the Israel-Palestinian conflict? Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 21:59
  • @rick smith: I'd also say changing 'not passed' to 'removed' is less informative. So why that change too? Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 21:59
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    The question is about statements made. That they were made in some particular context is irrelevant.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 22:03
  • @Rick Smith: You're not making any sense. The question is sbout the Israel-Palestine conflict which is why I added both tags: Israel & Palestine. It is also about military funding, which is why I added the tag: military. Why did you tag the question with the tag 'rhetoric'. Are you stating my question is merely rhetorical? Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 22:07
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    @Ekhad Singh - Reinstate Monica: Can you please stop removing relevant information from my question. Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


As best I can tell from a brief look, representatives Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez directly referred to Israel as an apartheid state, representative Bush indirectly referred to it as such, and a number of other representatives used language condemning Israel’s behaviors, from expressing strong support for Palestinians to calling Netanyahu an ethno-nationalist.

The question of whether Israel should be called an apartheid state has long legs; it been a running debate in the media and public opinion for at least a couple of decades now. It isn’t surprising to see it finally entering the halls of Congress.

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    President Jimmy Carter wrote a book in 2006 on the conflict, titled, Peace not Aparthied. Hence this discussion goes back to at least then. This was written after he was president, so not in Congress. Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 4:45
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    I was going to answer the question by referencing Ocasio-Cortez, but I thought she had only made that statement back in May and on Twitter, and the question seemed to be asking about statements made within Congress itself. Did she say something similar in Congress?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 5:57
  • @Obie2.0: I thought the question meant statements by sitting congresspeople, since it's hard these days to separate what is and is not an official statement. But maybe you're right... Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 6:52
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    While only the person who asked the question can confirm this, in their comment they said "whether not a member of congress has described Israel as an aparthied regime in congress," which led me to gather that they were talking about the situation that I described.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 6:55
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    @Obie2.0: I'm not sure what point you're trying to drive home by dragging this out, but... Q&A 201: sometimes people get the answer they want; sometimes they get the answer they need. This question could easily be interpreted as an effort to isolate Tlaib as a 'radical', which is unfair in context. I'm a fan of fairness, so context is what I offer. I'm sorry if you dislike it. Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 13:59

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