Congressman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) expressed regret in a tweet on Friday for a terrorist attack in which a 17-year old girl was murdered and her father and brother were injured. In the same post on Twitter, Tlaib also retweeted a post from an anti-Israel group that blamed the attack on the right-wing in Israel and the U.S.
Tlaib recently made headlines over a drawn-out saga concerning a junket she organized to introduce freshmen congressmen to “Palestine” (The itinerary did not refer to Israel). After much deliberation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to ban Tlaib and Congressman Ilhan Omar due to their support of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement (BDS) which works to delegitimize Israel. Israeli law prohibits advocates of BDS from entering the country. The junket was organized in conjunction with Miftah, a Palestinian propaganda organization which publishes neo-Nazi material and propagates the blood-libel myth that Jews bake matza with the blood of Christian children. Taib made a personal written request from the Israeli Minister of the Interior to visit her grandmother who is in her 90’s, promising that she would not promote BDS during her visit. She was granted the dispensation but refused to accept it.
On Friday morning, an improvised explosive device detonated near a natural spring in the Shomron (Samaria), killing Rina Shnerb, a 17-year-old Jewish girl and wounding her father and brother. The brother is on life-support and the father is being treated in the hospital. Police are still searching for the Palestinians responsible for the murder.
Tlaib, who was born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, related to the murder with regret but also cited an anti-Israel group that blamed the Palestinian attack on the Israeli and U.S. right-wing.
This is absolutely tragic & horrible. My heart goes out to Rina’s family. More than ever we need to support nonviolent approaches to ending the Israeli occupation and guaranteeing equal rights for all. Extremism that puts innocent lives at risk moves us no closer to peace. https://t.co/lQ4qrYf6ig
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 24, 2019
IfNotNow blamed the attack specifically on “the occupation”, a historically and factually inaccurate term anti-Semitic groups use to refer to Israel.
Innocent lives like Rina’s are being lost because of disastrous political decisions.
We fight to the end the Occupation so all Israelis and Palestinians may live in freedom and dignity. We must not allow politicians to use this tragedy to escalate the Occupation even further.
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) August 23, 2019
IfNotNow has been condemned as an antisemitic organization by numerous Jewish organizations. Many members of the organization are against a Jewish state in Israel, even within the pre-1967 lines. Many members also supported the BDS movement, which has been designated as an antisemitic organization by many governments worldwide including the United States. Many members of the movement have claimed to be Jews, and have later been discovered to have been wearing Jewface when non-Jewish people (mostly White people) masquerade as Jews in order to gain more credibility and sympathy for their criticism of Jewish organizations. These members which have been later found out to not actually be real Jews include prominent IfNotNow members such as Julia Salazar (used the racist alias Julia Carmel), Nylah Burton, and Rebecca Pierce, among others. The organization routinely disrespects Jewish rituals as a form of protest.
Tlaib claims that supporting BDS is protected under First Amendment free speech. Bill Maher, the host of HBO political talk show “Real Time”, criticized the BDS movement on his show last week, calling it the “bull**** purity test by people who want to appear ‘woke’ but actually slept through history class.” Tlaib responded by calling for a boycott of Maher’s show while comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa.
Maybe folks should boycott his show.
I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now. https://t.co/Oa49ZVfrVN
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 17, 2019
Maher responded by challenging Tlaib to a debate on his show concerning BDS. He asked if Tlaib was going to “boycott 93% of her own party” since many Democratic politicians and voters condemn the BDS movement.
Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away. But here’s the thing, the house voted 318 to 17 to condemn the #BDS movement, including 93% of Dems. Does Tlaib want to boycott 93% of her own party? pic.twitter.com/0QrPQmwwiw
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) August 21, 2019