Tlaib walks back anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’ tweet, but without apology

Tlaib said she will “strive to hold myself to the highest standards for what I share,” but didn’t apologize for retweeting the blood libel post.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) backed away from a retweet that Jewish groups characterized as a classic “blood libel” in which Israeli settlers were blamed for the death of a 7-year-old Arab boy. However, Tlaib did not apologize.

In a Jan. 28 tweet, Tlaib retreated from her post which retweeted the slander. She wrote: “In this era of inaccurate and manipulative news, I will also strive to hold myself to the highest standards for what I share. Know that I always seek truth as we uplift the oppressed and fight for equality, justice, and freedom.”

On Saturday, Tlaib retweeted a Twitter post from Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee, blaming Israel for the death of a young Palestinian boy.

Ashrawi herself had retweeted the unverified news that the boy “had been kidnapped and executed by a herd of violent #Israelisettlers, assaulted and thrown in a water well.”

The tweet combined two of three anti-Semitic canards popular in the Middle Ages against Jews in Europe – murdering Christian children and well poisoning. (The third was host desecration – the mistreatment of bread used in Christian services.)

It turned out that the boy died due to accidental drowning after heavy rains, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Ashrawi apologized for the tweet on Saturday, “My apologies for retweeting something that’s not fully verified. It seems that the news of his being kidnapped is not certain.”

Tlaib didn’t get around to backing away from her tweet until Tuesday, although the Anti-Defamation League had already condemned her tweet on Sunday.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, sharply condemned Tlaib and called on her to apologize.

“This is an example of how the blood libel works in 2020. @Rashida Tlaib retweets a vicious lie steeped in centuries-old accusations used to demonize Jews, then says nothing when it’s disproven. An apology is overdue,” Greenblatt wrote.

Tlaib has a history of taking controversial positions regarding Israel. Most recently she opposed a resolution supporting a two-state solution for being insufficiently pro-Palestinian.