Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the Heritage Foundation has deleted the post Amash criticized.
Former Republican Michigan Rep. Justin Amash accused the Heritage Foundation of xenophobia Thursday after it recommended against accepting Palestinian Refugees.
“As an American of Palestinian descent, I urge @Heritage to delete this utterly disgusting, xenophobic post,” Amash wrote.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) October 20, 2023
“We can’t vet a population against a database that doesn’t exist from a Hamas leadership with which the U.S. neither has diplomatic relations nor trusts,” Lora Ries of the Heritage Foundation said in a video attached to the Tweet.
Both posts took off, garnering millions of views amid an array of mixed reactions. The Heritage Foundation later deleted their post.
“I’ve worked with your organization quite a bit. Really disappointing to read bigoted statements like these,” Jenin Younes, a lawyer for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, replied to the Heritage Foundation’s post. “Will have to rethink any affiliation.” (RELATED: Calls For US To Take In Palestinian Refugees Raise Serious Security Concerns, Former, Current Officials Say)
“The @Heritage post is not xenophobic,” another user replied to Amash’s post. “Heritage is identifying common sense concerns & security risks, all of which are exacerbated by the Biden administration’s policies.”
The Palestinian population has no interest in assimilating into American culture and governance or in expressing loyalty to America or our allies.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) October 19, 2023
Amash confirmed Friday the tragic loss of several relatives in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes hit an Orthodox Church.
“With great sadness, I have now confirmed that several of my relatives (including Viola and Yara pictured here) were killed at Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza, where they had been sheltering, when part of the complex was destroyed as the result of an Israeli airstrike. Give rest, O Lord, to their souls, and may their memories be eternal,” he wrote on Twitter.
Amash served in Congress from 2011-21. A founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, he switched his affiliation to independent in 2019 before joining the Libertarian Party.
The former congressman pondered a presidential candidacy in 2020 and offered to serve as Speaker of the House earlier in 2023.