In the wake of a two-day rocket attack by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing approximately 700 rockets at Israel, freshman congressmen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) made public statements condemning Israel.
Tlaib, born in Detroit to parents who emigrated from Jerusalem Israel, retweeted a post by Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. which slammed the NY Times headline for focusing on the hundreds of rockets fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza.
When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free? Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families. #FreePalestine https://t.co/p3X3j8WtwM
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 5, 2019
There were, in fact, approximately 700 rockets fired into Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas since Saturday morning. The rockets intentionally targeted Israeli cities and civilian centers.
Omar responded with a tweet that justified the firing of rockets into Israel.
How many more protesters must be shot, rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends?
The status quo of occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unsustainable. Only real justice can bring about security and lasting peace.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 5, 2019
It would seem that Omar, born in Somalia and raised in the U.S., is unfamiliar with the history of the region. Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005, relocating over 10,000 Jews and effectively ethnically cleansing the region. Tlaib’s identification of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is accurate but it would be inaccurate to place the blame on Israel. Though it is impossible to accurately account how much money has been given to Gaza for humanitarian aid, three weeks ago Hamas forcibly quelled riots by the populace protesting misuse of humanitarian aid for terrorism infrastructures and government corruption. It is also unclear how Omar’s support of constant rocket attacks against Israeli civilians is intended to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The two congressmen were called out by name by Iranian-born Australian Shia Muslim Imam and President of the Islamic Association of South Australia Imam Mohamad Tawhidi.
Neither do I.
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) May 5, 2019
The stated opinion of the two congressmen does not reflect the opinion of the U.S. government and certainly not of the White House, as evidenced by tweets posted by both the president and vice president in support of Israel.
….To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 6, 2019
We strongly condemn the attacks in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Israel has the absolute right to defend itself & the U.S. stands by our great ally Israel.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 5, 2019