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Rashida Tlaib Calls for Israel to Release Bodies of Slain Palestinians, Doesn’t Mention Reported Terror Attempts

Tlaib tweeted on August 28 a photo of the mother of a Palestinian named Mai Afana. “Mai was a mother, loving daughter & successful PhD student. She was killed by the Israeli government last June. Israel won't release her body to her family.
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August 30, 2021
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Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is under fire for calling for Israel to release the bodies of slain Palestinians but failing to mention that those Palestinians were killed because they attempted to commit terror.

Tlaib tweeted on August 28 a photo of the mother of a Palestinian named Mai Afana. “Mai was a mother, loving daughter & successful PhD student. She was killed by the Israeli government last June. Israel won’t release her body to her family. I am sharing Mai’s story because I began to only learn last year of this inhumane practice by the Israeli govt. Without proof, they make claims, and all to just continue to dehumanize Palestinians even after they have died. We must stand against this form of collective violence.”

She also issued a similar tweet about a Palestinian named Ahmed Erekat, linking to a Human Rights Watch article stating that Israeli authorities “killed him seemingly without justification at a checkpoint.”

Various Jewish and pro-Israel Twitter users criticized Tlaib’s tweets.

“Why aren’t you mentioning that Mai Afana tried to ram a group of Israelis with her car and then attempted to stab them before she was killed?” Israeli activist Hen Mazzig tweeted. “Why is Rashida Tlaib unable to discuss Israel without misinformation? If you can’t make your point without lying, it’s not valid.”

Joe Truzman, a research analyst for Long War Journal and Foundation for Defense of Democracies, similarly tweeted: “I’m not sure why the congresswoman fails to acknowledge Afana’s [terror] attack A U.S. government sanctioned Foreign Terrorist Organization in the #Gaza Strip published a statement acknowledging Mai Afana committed a ‘stabbing operation’ when she was killed by the IDF on June 16.” This statement was made via Telegram, Truzman wrote.

He also noted that “militants went as far as to honor [Afana] by launching incendiary-laden balloons towards southern Israel with her name written on it.”

Joel M. Petlin, Superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District in New York, also tweeted: “I’m not sure if the 1200+ people who liked this Tweet by Congresswoman Tlaib were aware that Mai Afana wasn’t an innocent PhD student. She was killed while trying to run over & stab a female police officer. Or perhaps they do, & just like the Congresswoman, they just don’t care.”

Democratic Majority for Israel tweeted to Tlaib that they “share your concern.” “Are you equally concerned about the two Israeli bodies held hostage by Hamas for 7 years? Or live Israeli hostages—1 Ethiopian-born, 1 Israeli Arab—also held by Hamas? Instead of misleading one-sided attacks, why not work to arrange a trade?”

Sussex Friends of Israel tweeted, “The last 5 years has seen some pretty appalling MPs [Members of Parliament] obsessed with attacking Israel at any given opportunity. I dare say that none of them would sink to the level of Tlaib who totally overlooks that this woman was intent on murdering Jews. Actually, I think a couple would.”

Human rights lawyer and International Legal Forum CEO Arsen Ostrovsky took aim at Tlaib’s tweet about Erekat. “Erekat was a terrorist who tried to car ram murder Israelis. Stop whitewashing and inciting violence against Jews. Would you @RashidaTlaib do same with Taliban?”

The reported car-ramming attempt from June 2020 was caught on video; members of Erekat’s family claimed that he had simply lost control of the car and the video showed he was “unarmed and confused,” whereas pro-Israel Twitter voices argued that the video shows that Erekat purposely slowed down to give the car more space before speeding into the checkpoint.

George Mason University Law Professor David Bernstein tweeted that “Israel almost always” returns the bodies of slain Palestinian terrorists to their families “but shouldn’t. Family is upset that their precious murderer’s or attempted murderer’s body isn’t around to be given a hero’s funeral? Tough noogies.”

https://twitter.com/ProfDBernstein/status/1432109440854020100?s=20

A Twitter user known as “Claire” noted that in addition to supporting Erekat and Afana, Tlaib has also expressed support for Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted of two 1969 bombings in Jerusalem and was deported from Chicago to Jordan in 2017 after pleading guilty of failing to disclose her prior conviction when applying for United States citizenship in 2004, as well as Khalida Jarrar, who was sentenced to two years in prison in connection to a 2019 terror attack that killed Israeli girl Rina Shnerb, 17.

Avi Mayer, Managing Director of Public Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, tweeted in response to Claire, “Awfully strange behavior for a member of Congress.”

Tlaib’s office did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

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