A South Florida official is facing harsh criticism after she posted an Islamophobic message in which she mused whether Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, would someday “blow up Capitol Hill.”
Anabelle Lima-Taub, a commissioner in Hallandale Beach, a community of about 40,000 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, signed a petition that circulated on the White House’s crowdsourced “We the People” site seeking to remove Tlaib from office.
Tlaib (D-Mich.) has been the focus of sustained ire, mostly from conservatives, since she used a profanity while calling for Trump’s impeachment at a bar just hours after being sworn in earlier this month.
“Proudly signed,” Lima-Taub wrote of the petition last week, according to an image shared by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Lima-Taub claimed Tlaib was a “Hamas-loving anti-Semite,” a reference to the Islamist militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.
"She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill,” Lima-Taub wrote.
The message is no longer on her Facebook page. The Sun-Sentinel reported that it was removed Monday afternoon after the newspaper asked about it.
Tlaib blasted Lima-Taub’s message on Twitter.
“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,” she wrote.
Lima-Taub did not respond to a request for comment. The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Lima-Taub’s resignation.
“CAIR-Florida strongly condemns the disgraceful racist and Islamophobic statements published by Commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub,” Wilfredo Ruiz, the chapter’s communication director, said in a statement. “Her un-American, xenophobic statements establish that she is unfit to hold the Commissioner’s seat.”
Lima-Taub is one of five members of Hallandale Beach’s commission, including its mayor and vice mayor. At least three of the colleagues criticized her remarks, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“Commissioner Lima-Taub’s behavior is indefensible and a black eye for Hallandale Beach,” said Michele Lazarow, another Hallandale commissioner, according to the newspaper.
According to her biography on the town’s website, Lima-Taub was elected in November 2016 on a platform of “restoring ethics to city hall, promoting public safety and ensuring a considerate government that puts the residents of Hallandale Beach first.”
The bio says that she was born in Israel and raised in New York.
Tlaib has been the target of attacks that have questioned her motives since before her remarks about impeaching Trump. But the comments, made in an impromptu setting, punctuated with an obscenity and caught on camera, have brought her much attention. The petition for her removal on the “We the People” site has received more than 100,000 signatures, a threshold that is supposed to trigger a response from the White House.
Lima-Taub previously drew headlines after Hallandale Beach’s then-mayor, Keith London, criticized her for supposedly making money from sphincter bleaching. Her mother owns a medical spa, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Lima-Taub was critical of London’s remark.