U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) retweeted and then deleted a tweet that falsely accused Israelis of kidnapping and murdering an eight-year-old Palestinian boy.
According to a screenshot, Tlaib was retweeting a tweet from Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, who spread claims that the boy was “kidnapped by a herd of violent Israeli settlers, assaulted and thrown in a water well.”
“The heart just shatters. The pain is unbearable. No words,” said Ashrawi, but The Times of Israel later reported that the boy apparently slipped and drowned in a reservoir of rainwater.
— Ben Hartman (@Benhartman) January 25, 2020
“My apologies for retweeting something that’s not fully verified,” Ashrawi wrote on Twitter after deleting her initial tweet. “It seems the news of his being kidnapped is not certain.”
My apologies for retweeting something that’s not fully verified. It seems that the news of his being kidnapped is not certain.
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) January 25, 2020
According to The Jerusalem Post, relatives of the boy initially claimed to have security footage showing him being kidnapped, but the boy’s father later said that it wasn’t actually his son in the footage.
Tlaib’s retweet of Ashrawi has been removed, but she didn’t offer an apology or share Ashrawi’s clarification. Several pundits said Tlaib’s retweet amounted to “blood libel” against Jewish Israelis.
“I am always extremely cautious in criticizing U.S. elected officials,” said Dani Dayan, consul general of Israel in New York. “However when an American elected official retweets an unfounded blood libel against Jewish Israelis, I cannot remain silent. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib just did.”
I am always extremely cautious in criticizing US elected officials. However when an American elected official retweets an unfounded blood libel against Jewish Israelis, I cannot remain silent. Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib just did.
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) January 25, 2020
Tlaib is one of the most outspoken critics of Israel in Congress and is a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement. She and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) are frequent targets of President Donald Trump, who called them anti-Semites during a recent rally.
The Israeli government barred both congresswomen from traveling to the country in August because of their “suspected provocations and promotion of BDS.”
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