US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib lost no time Saturday retweeting the post of Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official who wrote, “The heart just shatters. The pain is unbearable. No words.” while retweeting the words of a fake activist who created a modern-day blood libel against the Jews of Jerusalem.
“KIDNAPPED & EXECUTED” wrote “realSeifBitar” whose account has since been suspended by Twitter. “7 year old #Palestinian child Qusai was kidnapped by a Herd of violent #Israeli settlers, assaulted & thrown in a water well was found this morning frozen to death in Beit Hanina, #Jerusalem after #Israeli forces assaulted search teams”
Three layers of what for now appears to be a blood libel. From a faceless activist to a Palestinian government official to a US Congresswoman to a global audience of 898,000 followers. pic.twitter.com/spGwJAp5RT
— Eylon Levy (@EylonALevy) January 25, 2020
Ashrawi, a seasoned politician with a reputation for false anti-Israeli statements, at least had the sense to issue a half-baked retraction as soon as it became clear the tweet was a fake. “My apologies for re-tweeting something that’s not fully verified,” she tweeted. “It seems that the news of his being kidnapped is not certain.”
Of course, he was not kidnapped, but a full retraction and the truth would have been too much for Ashrawi.
Tlaib, with more than 898,000 followers, must have also gotten the message, somehow, because her tweet was deleted soon after.
Not surprisingly, Tlaib has offered no apology for her actions, however. In the interim, her nearly one million in the Twittersphere had access to this vicious new hate against the Jews in Israel, because it was picked up and retweeted by anti-Semitic British politician George Galloway.
“This child, aged 7, has just been fished out of a well dead in #Jerusalem,” Galloway tweeted. “Murdered by illegal Israeli settlers. Will anyone in power cry with his mother and father today? Will anyone check this evil rampage against the people of #Palestine? Anyone?”
Here is Jew-hater in chief @GeorgeGalloway using the tragic death of a young Palestinian boy to stir up hate. Sadly Abu Ramileh drowned in a tragic accident but to George its just another opportunity to incite his followers
— SussexFriendsofIsrael (@SussexFriends) January 25, 2020
The photo that showed the body of eight year old Qusai Abu Ramila being taken from the water by medical personnel has been viewed well over a hundred thousand times by now, probably more; it was Israeli rescue personnel who searched for him, and found him.
Police also came under rock attacks from local Arab mobs who were rioting and trying to attack a nearby Jewish neighborhood.
Galloway, with more than 340,000 followers, tweeted a photo of the child being laid down by rescue personnel as they began to administer aid, warning his followers to “block Israel trolls,” claiming that many are “paid to engage and confuse you.”
I strongly advise you to block Israel trolls. Many of them are paid to engage and confuse you. pic.twitter.com/INXWbobLlK
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) January 25, 2020
Hundreds of volunteers responded to a request by Israel Police asking for assistance to help locate the child as they searched the area late Friday and into early Saturday.
The pool of rainwater in the Beit Hanina neighborhood had formed after the long days of rain in the area, police said. The child was found after search and rescue forces searched the pool overnight, after search dogs picked up his scent leading to the water.
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