Squad members derided for condemnation of Israel with statements heavy on emotion, but light on facts

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib received major pushback on social media Monday morning following a tweet in which she appeared to misspeak about key details surrounding a clash between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli police a day earlier that occurred on holy ground.

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, posted her comments in response to a tweet from Israel critic and Palestinian-American journalist Dena Takruri, who wrote, “I have prayed inside Al Aqsa mosque many times throughout my life. Its significance to Palestinians and to Muslims the world over can’t be overstated. Seeing Israeli forces attack it so ruthlessly is beyond distressing and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”

Tlaib replied, tagging President Joe Biden, “I was 7 years old when I first prayed at the Al Aqsa with my sity. It’s a sacred site for Muslims. This is equivalent to attacking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, or the Temple Mount for Jews. Israel attacks it during Ramadan. Where’s the outrage @POTUS?”

But according to published reporters, Palestinian rioters appear to have initiated the clash with Israeli police. Also, as reports pointed out, the clashes did take place on the Temple Mount.

“Hundreds of Palestinian protesters and at least 21 police officers were injured throughout Monday morning in fierce clashes on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, [according] to medical officials and police,” the Times of Israel reported.

Additional reporting noted that rioters within the Al-Aqsa Mosque initiated the clashes after they began hurling rocks from within the holy site, leading Israeli police to take the “relatively uncommon” tactic of storming the building, the Times added. The fact that the incident occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has further inflamed tensions.

New rioting broke out in Israeli-Arab cities on Monday, Ha’aretz reported, leading to hundreds more injuries.

“Hundreds of Palestinians are rioting on the Temple Mount, police said, and officers and Border Police are using crowd control measures against them. Palestinians are ‘throwing massive stones at police forces stationed at the gates of the Temple Mount,’ the police statement added,” according to Ha’aretz.

The rioting was followed by a series of rocket attacks launched by Hamas into Israel from within the Gaza Strip, which led Israel to respond with bombing raids that killed more than two dozen, including three top militants belonging to the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, Ha’aretz reported separately. The Israeli army also called up thousands of reserves to help shore up home defense as rioting and violence continued into Tuesday, reports added.

But all that said, it was the way in which Tlaib seemed to frame the clashes that drew the sharpest responses.

“Yes, so ‘sacred’ that Palestinians were rioting, smashing windows and pelting rocks!” human rights lawyer and political analyst Arsen Ostrovsky wrote.

“It is the worshippers at the mosque that attacked the Jews. The Israeli security forces found a huge collection of stones at the mosque. The Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli car, that hit the driver, who lost control of the car and hit the stone throwers,” wrote another Twitter user.

“This IS the temple mount,” wrote another.

Meanwhile, another “Squad” member and frequent Israel critic, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), accused the Jewish state of behaving like terrorists.

“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection,” she tweeted. “Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”

Tlaib, Omar, and fellow ‘Squad’ member Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) also issued a joint statement further condemning Israel for daring to defend itself and its officers.

GOP senator Ted Cruz fired back at Omar, asking why she’s ‘acting as the press secretary for Hamas?’

Jon Dougherty

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