WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Rashida Tlaib retweeted then removed a tweet falsely blaming Israelis for the death of a Palestinian child.
Tlaib, a Palestinian American who is a Michigan Democrat and one of only two lawmakers to back the boycott Israel movement, retweeted a tweet by Hanan Ashrawi, a top Palestinian official, who was quote-tweeting an account, realSeifBitar, that accused Israeli settlers of kidnapping, assaulting and throwing into a well a seven-year-old child. “The heart just shatters,” Ashrawi said.
In fact, The Jerusalem Post reported, the boy, Qusai Abu Ramila, appears to have drowned accidentally in a reservoir of rainwater in eastern Jerusalem. Israeli first responders found him on Saturday and tried to revive him.
Tlaib removed her retweet with no explanation, and Ashrawi eventually apologized for “retweeting something that’s not fully verified.”
Dani Dayan, the Israeli consul general in New York, took Tlaib to task for spreading what he called a “blood libel.”
“I am always extremely cautious in criticizing U.S. elected officials,” Dayan said on Twitter. “However, when an American elected official retweets an unfounded blood libel against Jewish Israelis, I cannot remain silent. Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib just did.”