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FL commissioner who suggested Tlaib was a terrorist says she fears for her life

Fallout from the comment has roiled the 5-person commission of Hallandale Beach

Rep. Rashida Tlaib has become a lightening rod for conservative media since calling for President Trump’s impeachment earlier this year. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib has become a lightening rod for conservative media since calling for President Trump’s impeachment earlier this year. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A South Florida city commissioner who accused Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., of being an “Hamas-loving anti-Semite” who could try to “become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill” was denounced by her colleagues at a stormy hearing Wednesday night.

The Hallandale Beach City Commission voted to condemn commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub for her Islamaphobic remarks about Tlaib — a Palestinian-American, who this year became one of the first Muslim women to be sworn into Congress. The vote occurred as a group protesters raged inside and outside the commission chambers.

At the hearing Wednesday night, Lima-Taub said she felt her life is in danger.

“Tonight may very well be my last night alive,” Lima-Taub said, but did not offer evidence that there were credible threats against her life. 

The controversy started when Lima-Taub shared a petition calling for Tlaib’s removal from office on her Facebook page last week.

“A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill,” wrote Lima-Taub, who is Jewish and was born in Israel. 

The Florida chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League have subsequently denounced her words.

“Sharing and disseminating negative stereotypes like this — implying that all Muslims are, or have the potential to be, terrorists — is deeply offensive and has no place in our society,” the Anti-Defamation League stated in a letter.

The commissioners tabled an earlier resolution to censure Lima-Taub, WTVJ reported

“People what to hear a response. If I do not stand up to these comments and say this is not an official comment from the city, that the city does not support this racism, then I am just complicit,” commissioner Michele Lazarow said preceding the vote.

Tlaib said the Republican Party has encouraged Islamaphobic rhetoric.

“This sort of hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum — this President embraced it and Republicans have happily gone along with it,” Tlaib tweeted.

The fallout from Lima-Taub’s Facebook post has roiled the five-person commission of Hallandale Beach, a city located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami popular with retirees.

Supporters of Lima-Taub packed the commission meeting Wednesday, and they protested outside with Israeli flags, according to the Miami Herald.

They were aided by far-right internet personality Laura Loomer, who encouraged her supporters to come to the hearing with Israeli and American flags in an Instagram post. 

Loomer — whose online persona hinges on anti-Muslim hate speech — was present at the hearing with a sign reading, “Taub is a patriot! Tlaib is a terrorist!”

Despite the rebuke by her colleagues on the commission, Lima-Taub has not apologized. 

In interviews since her Facebook post ignited an outcry last week, Lima-Taub has conflated Tlaib’s supported for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement with anti-Semitism. She also endorsed the far-right canard that CAIR maintains links to terrorists.

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