An Open Letter to Rashida Tlaib

Gayle Leslie
2 min readFeb 22, 2024

And to anyone threatening to re-elect Donald Trump to “punish” Joe Biden.

Rep Tlaib,

You have an informed constituent on the Israeli/Palestinian in me: I have worked w/ NGOs in the region. I can articulate the distinction bet Judaism & Zionism and I’ve been to the Gaza border. I loathe Netanyahu, I loathe Hamas. But I watched yet another Arab American focus group today. I speak w/ precision now.

These folks were literally threatening to take the Biden admin “hostage,” as you have, if he doesn’t do what they want & do it now. They’ve no idea what is going on privately as the president tries to pressure Netanyahu to end this thing: he cannot waive a magical “ceasefire” wand.

Respondents literally said that they will vote against Biden, “endure a little pain”, elect Trump to get their way. It is unimaginable to me that your constituents do not understand that Trump will give Netanyahu a license to kill & impose a blanket Muslim ban. Your voters say they will ditch this democracy to “punish” Joe Biden. Begging the question: WTF do you think you are?

I don’t even know what to say to you about this adolescent nonsense: if you and your constituents think Trump is better for your people than Biden, I encourage y’all: get your guns and head on over to Gaza. See how that goes for ya’.

If you think that threatening American Dems — who support your cause — with trying to ditch this democracy to get your way is a strategy, you will lose. You will lose your seat and you will alienate allies.

I want Netanyahu gone, but we feel powerless. We want Democrats to be more critical of right-wing Israelis but that conflict is not our only concern in the region.

You could not have a more sympathetic advocate than you do in me, but your vicious attacks and threats are really pissing me off. I’m not the only one. So I encourage you to adjust your sorry attitude towards the concerns of other Americans before we stop considering your concerns when we go to the polls.

Badmouthing Joe Biden right now is a bad, bad thing.

G. Leslie