WASHINGTON (JTA) — Palestinian American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., criticized The New York Times for a headline on a story about the recent violence on the Israel-Gaza border, saying it promotes a “lack of responsibility on Israel.”
The headline read “Gaza Militants Fire 250 Rockets, and Israel Responds with Airstrikes.”
“When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free?” Tlaib’s full comment on Twitter read. “Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families. #FreePalestine”
The executive director for the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Yousef Munayyer, was first to call the headline “irresponsible” and “misleading,” noting that the rockets were launched after the latest Friday protests on the Israel-Gaza border, when Israel killed four people.
Israel sees the weekly protests, which have at times turned violent and which have as their stated aim breaching the border, as a security threat.
Tlaib is one of two current members of Congress who back the boycott Israel movement — Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is the other — but she is the only one who calls for the replacement of Israel as a Jewish state with a binational state.
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris pushed back against Tlaib.
“Do you endorse attacks of Hamas & Islamic Jihad?” Harris said on Twitter. “Is 2-state deal w/ Israel their goal? Is firing 100s of rockets at Israel justifiable? Does Israel have a right to defend itself? Btw, didn’t Israel leave Gaza in 2005, only asking for quiet border in return?”