Samantha Woll, president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue in Detroit, was stabbed to death at her home. A trail of blood led police to believe the murder was carried out in her home. The police are investigating the incident as a homicide though the FBI is closely monitoring the possibility that it was an antisemitic hate crime.
Woll was politically active in the campaigns of several Democratic Party candidates in local elections.
Some people have associated the murder with “pro-Palestinian” rhetoric that has inflamed Detroit’s Muslim population singling out Rep. Rashida Tlaib for criticism. Laura Loomer, a far-right political activist, directly and explicitly blamed Tlaib.
“This is a hate crime,” Loomer tweeted. “Likely Incited by Rashida’s calls for violence against Jews and her support for HAMAS.”
Ellie Cohanim, a former Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Anti Semitism under the Trump administration, told Fox News that Tlaib was guilty of perpetuating a “blood libel”.
Avraham Berekowitz took it one step further, tweeting, “ If Samantha was Muslim @RashidaTlaib @RepRashida would have already accused and blamed Jews of her murder.” He added the disclaimer, “Details on who is responsible and if it is related to the war in Israel, is not yet known.”
For her part, Tlaib mourned the murdered Jewish woman.
“My friend, and a member of our organizing community, Sam Woll, was murdered, ” Tlaib posted on Facebook. “I have no words. She always had a sweet smile to offer and the warmest eyes to greet you. Our community is devastated and we are shocked.”
Tlaib has come under fire for her libelous rhetoric accusing Israel of fictitious war crimes. Her statement on the day after the Hamas attack on Israel failed to mention the Israeli casualties, focusing rather on Palestinian refugees. This statement was released before Israel began its retaliation and the only Palestinian casualties were 1,500 Hamas terrorists killed inside Israel.
She also blamed Israel for bombing a Christian hospital in Gaza. While Hamas blames Israel for the bombing, claiming 500 Gazans were killed, video and radar proof indicates the explosion was caused by an errant rocket fire by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from inside Gaza. Later images from the site showed the hospital was intact and the explosion took place in an adjacent parking lot.
In Congress, Tlaib on Monday was co-leading a House resolution calling for “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine.”
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, sent a letter to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, (R-NC) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY).
“I demand that Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib be prevented from participating in any classified briefing about Israel’s ongoing military operations, Israel’s self-defense efforts, or any American military movements in and around the region,” Jackson wrote. “We must not allow Hamas sympathizers in this body to serve as the mouthpiece for Palestinian terrorists. Rather than condemn the attacks by Hamas, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has chosen to side with Hamas by spreading misinformation… [Ithas] become clear that Congresswoman Tlaib’s allegiance lies with Hamas,” and that she couldn’t be trusted with sensitive information that could “put American and Israeli lives at risk.”
Antisemitic hate crimes have spiked in the wake of the Hamas attack in which over 1,400 Israelis were murdered and over 200 civilians taken hostage. The Anti Defamation League reported that in the past two weeks, the French Ministry of the Interior has recorded 327 antisemitic incidents.
The CST – the UK’s Jewish community’s security organization – recorded 320 antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, an increase of 581%. The Met, the UK’s biggest police force, said there had been 218 antisemitic offenses in London between October 1 and 18, compared to 15 in the same period last year, a rise of 1,353 percent.
During large “pro-Palestinian” demonstrations in London and again in Geneva, chants of “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud“, a reference to an Islamic massacre of Jews, were heard in various locations. “Gas the Jews” was shouted during a “pro-Palestinian” protest outside the Opera House in Sydney Austrailia.
Synagogues were vandalized in at least eight cities around the world. Often this was in the form of anti-semitic graffiti. A synagogue in Berlin was attacked with firebombs and the historic el-Hamma synagogue in Tunisia was burned to the ground.