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Sen. Rubio’s Office: It’s ‘Deeply Alarming’ Rep. Tlaib Was Photographed With Pro-Hezbollah Activist

Marco Rubio and Rashida Tlaib (LEFT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, RIGHT: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

Mike Brest Reporter

A representative for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that the lawmaker is disturbed by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib apparently associating with a pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel activist.

Abbas Hamideh, executive director and co-founder of Al-Awda, tweeted a photo of himself with Tlaib on Saturday, claiming that he was at her swearing-in ceremony two weeks ago and a private dinner afterwards. The photo features the two of them by a painting of Tlaib in front of the U.S. Capitol Building with an American flag as the background.

The caption reads, “I was honored to be at Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib swearing in ceremony in #Detroit and private dinner afterward with the entire family, friends and activists across the country.” (RELATED: Anti-Israel Extremist Says He Was At Tlaib’s Private Dinner After Swearing-In)

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio speaks with Israeli President before a meeting on February 20, 2013 at the presidential compound in Jerusalem. (Photo: MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamideh has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that Israel does not have a right to exist. He has also praised Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah — a group classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. and several other members of the international community.

“Senator Rubio believes it is deeply alarming to see a Member of Congress associate closely with an individual who publicly praises Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed Hizballah terrorist group that killed 241 Americans in the 1983 Beirut bombing attack,” a spokeswoman for the Florida congressman told The Daily Caller.

The extent of Hamideh and Tlaib’s relationship is unclear, but Hamideh posted another photo of the two of them back on Apr. 12, 2018.

“Unfortunately we really aren’t surprised. Tlaib is turning out to be the exact person we were warning she is,” Neil Boylan Strauss, the Republican Jewish Coalition national spokesman, told TheDC. “What is perhaps the worst part about this is, Democrats won’t do a single thing about it, nor will Democratic Jewish groups. And it’s all because they’re afraid to stand up to their rabidly anti-Israel, far-Left base.”

Al-Awda, the group Hamideh leads, is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to “comprehensive public education on the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution of all their confiscated and destroyed property.”

US Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reacts to a good number during an office lottery for new members of Congress on Capitol Hill November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images)

U.S. Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reacts to a good number during an office lottery for new members of Congress on Capitol Hill November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman member of Congress. She and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, both of whom are freshman members of Congress, have stated their support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, which calls for companies and groups to protest and penalize the state of Israel over their treatment of the Palestinian people.

The official BDS website describes the movement as one trying to uphold “the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity,” while others view it as anti-Semitic.

The Anti-Defamation League describes the movement as “the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence. The BDS campaign is rampant with misinformation and distortion.”

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