Rep. Debra Anne Haaland (D-New Mexico), one of the first two Native American women elected to the US Congress, on Thursday paid a visit to the Jewish settlement of Ofra in northern Samaria. It was probably not a good visit, despite the organizers’ efforts to present it politely as merely “intense.”
Haaland, who came as part of a delegation of five Democratic lawmakers led by J Street president Jeremy Ben Ami, was described by an Israeli leftwing blog after her 2018 election as one of eight new congresswomen of color who were certain to cause Israel problems. The group included the notorious “squad” of Israel haters –Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Back in May 2018, after the IDF had killed 60 Arab rioters—most of whom were proven to be on Hamas’s payroll—at a particularly vicious protest at the Gaza Strip border fence, Haaland tweeted: “The murder of 60 Palestinians in Gaza just as Ramadan begins weigh heavy on my heart today. The youngest was just 8 months old. Here are their names.”
— Deb Haaland (@Deb4CongressNM) May 16, 2018
According to Arutz 7, Aharon Lipkin, a spokesman for Ofra, tried to keep a civilized face on the event, reporting an intense encounter in the face of deep controversies over political differences, saying: “The general atmosphere was good and it was evident that the participants had a sincere desire to also understand the lives of Israeli residents living in Benjamin and the rest of Judea and Samaria.”
Haaland and fellow Democrat Sharice Davids of Kansas, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, became the first two Native American women to be elected to the United States Congress. Haaland wore a traditional Pueblo dress, necklace and boots to the swearing-in ceremony on January 3, 2019.