Michigan Senate candidate Mike Rogers slams Slotkin for staying silent on Tlaib

Rogers: ‘The refusal to condemn Tlaib while she attends an event with terrorist organizations is pure cowardice'

Former GOP Rep. Mike Rogers (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Michigan’s Republican Senate candidate Mike Rogers is taking Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and her fellow Michigan Democrats to task for refusing to condemn an anti-Israel conference — featuring speakers with links to terrorist groups — that Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) addressed last weekend. 

Rogers, who is facing Slotkin in the competitive race for retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) seat, told Jewish Insider that Michigan Democrats were failing their Arab constituents who reject antisemitism by avoiding conversations about the behavior of Tlaib and her far-left colleagues. 

“What you’re doing is silencing those Arabs and those Muslims in that district who don’t believe [what Tlaib is saying],” Rogers said, noting that many of them “came to the United States” because they celebrate Western values. He accused Tlaib and others who preach the same message of bringing “the hatred that happens in some of these places around the world to their doorstep.”

“Elissa Slotkin’s refusal to condemn Rashida Tlaib while she continues to spread antisemitism and attends an event with terrorist organizations is pure cowardice,” he told JI. “Slotkin’s astounding lack of judgement and the consequences as a result only lead to more antisemitism and violence towards Jews. America desperately needs leaders who will stand up to this hatred and support the entire Jewish community.”

Slotkin’s campaign spokesperson declined to comment in response.

Asked about Tlaib’s incendiary rhetoric in the days immediately following Oct. 7, Slotkin told CNN that, “I handle my issues with other members of Congress privately, but for me it shouldn’t be hard to condemn terrorists and terrorism.”

Rogers described this period in history as a “Martin Niemöller moment,” referencing the German pastor who authored the famous 1946 poem “First they came,” and said that leaders have an obligation to stand up to hatred in all forms. 

“Hatred is hatred. They are standing up, preaching hatred to Jewish Americans, certainly Israeli citizens, and promoting and encouraging this behavior on college campuses,” he said. “Not to stand up may be the worst sign of leadership, if not an act of cowardice, to me. And that’s exactly what we see. We see that lack of condemnation of the event in Detroit, a lack of condemnation of the rhetoric that we know is encouraging, inciting violence and hatred of Jews by Rashida Tlaib.”

Rogers, who served in the House from 2001 to 2015 and chaired the House Intelligence Committee,said he believes Slotkin and other Democrats staying silent on Tlaib’s rhetoric is harmful “because it continues to feed into the misinformation that’s out there” about Israel and the Jewish people. “All of that would be disturbing if it weren’t so dangerous,” he said.

“Them staring at their navels is complicit in what you see happening on college campuses. They’re afraid to walk in and talk about the truth,” Rogers said. 

Tlaib appeared last weekend at the People’s Conference for Palestine, where pro-terror messages were celebrated and an activist with ties to a group designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization was welcomed. 

The conference was organized by The People’s Forum, a far-left advocacy group funded largely by Neville Roy Singham, a businessman with ties to the Chinese Communist Party and a long history of donating to Marxist and socialist causes. 

Wisam Rafeedie, an activist with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is designated in the U.S. as a terrorist organization, was a guest at the event. Sana’ Daqqah, the widow of Walid Daqqah, the PFLP terrorist who was lionized in the Palestinian community for dying in an Israeli prison, was the keynote speaker. 

Attendees took part in chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,”, and “We want justice, you say how? End the siege on Gaza now,” in between speeches and discussions on “Confronting Zionism in Higher Education” and “Zionism and U.S. Imperialism.”

In her remarks, Tlaib accused President Joe Biden of being complicit in what she described as a “genocide” in Gaza and doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who she referred to as a “murderous war criminal.”

“President Biden says what’s happening [in Gaza] is not a genocide. Where is your red line, President Biden?” Tlaib told the crowd. 

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