Democratic primary opponent accuses Rashida Tlaib of ‘anti-Semitic rhetoric’

SHanelle Jackson, a former Michigan lawmaker, will challenge Rep. Rashida Tlaib in the Democratic primary for the redesigned 12th congressional district, arguing that her pro-business policies and support for Israel set her apart from the far-left congresswoman.

jackson said Jewish insider, “I have rallied the troops.”

“I think there’s a great opportunity there,” Jackson said, adding that she plans to launch her campaign in February.

Michigan’s Independent Redistricting Commission released a set of maps in December reflecting the state’s new congressional boundaries after it lost a seat due to relatively slow population growth. The new maps are prompting shuffles among state lawmakers, including Tlaib, who represents the 13th District but has decided to run for a third term in the new 12th District. The district map is being challenged in a lawsuit that alleges the new borders disenfranchise black voters.


Jackson, a Detroit native, served as a state representative from 2007 to 2012. Since then, she has worked in various government relations and in the private sector. Jackson ran unsuccessfully against Tlaib in a 13th District primary in 2018, but she argued the new card presented her with an opportunity to fare better. The new 12th District includes the Livonia area, which is more conservative, and the Dearborn area, home to the largest Arab-American population in the United States.

“I think the time is right,” Jackson said. “It’s almost palpable in the city of Detroit and in this region: black women are on the rise. We are hungry to have our voice in the room and at the table.

In the interview announcing her candidacy, Jackson contrasted her “pro-business” and pro-Israel policies, which she said contrasted sharply with her opponent. Tlaib, whose parents were Palestinian immigrants, once called Israel an apartheid state during remarks in the House, prompting accusations of anti-Semitism.

“I think we’ll be very different, obviously, in our approaches,” Jackson said. “I don’t hate banks.”

“I don’t hate subprime lenders,” she added. “I know, as an African American who has been poor and who has been better, that we need all the options on the table and our situation is nuanced.”

Jackson said she has a “strong reverence” for Israel and the United States’ relationship with its ally.

“When she has that mic in front of her, she goes crazy and goes to a lot of extremes,” Jackson said of Tlaib. “I really feel like it’s now or never because it’s about being able to kind of silence her and calm down some of the anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

“Just to make it very clear, I believe the United States and Israel are brothers, and I can’t imagine living in a world where our nation doesn’t have Israel’s back,” she continued. . “It’s heartbreaking, to be honest with you, that Rep. Tlaib doesn’t even want to explore that avenue.”

Jackson accused Tlaib of “carrying the waters of Palestine in everything she does.”

“Meanwhile, Detroiters, we have no voice,” she said. “It’s the truth.”


Tlaib and Jackson are the only candidates so far to have declared their intention to run in the new district. The district is majority Democratic, so the primary is the real ticket to Congress.

“I think she’s definitely up for a challenge,” Jackson said. “The neighborhood is made for that.”

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