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Rashida Tlaib Slams Hamas Leader as ‘Antisemitic of the Year’

The pro-Israel organization StopAntisemitism on Monday chose Rep. Rashida Tlaib as its 2023 “Anti-Semitic of the Year,” defeating Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who is the only Palestinian American in Congress, has been criticized for her stance on Israel in the conflict and called for a ceasefire. The conflict has cost the lives of over 20,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. Israel, in turn, launched a ground invasion of Gaza, an area home to about 2 million people.

Critics consider Tlaib’s comments in response to the attack and her calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to be antisemitic and argue that she spoke out against Israel’s right to exist. But advocates see these criticisms as an attempt to distract from their opposition to the way the Israeli government has treated Palestinian civilians during the conflict.

StopAntisemitism, a group whose goal is to “expose groups and individuals who engage in incitement against the Jewish people and the Jewish state and engage in antisemitic behavior,” named her “Antisemitic of the Year,” the organization said Monday announced.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC on September 19, 2023. Tlaib was named “Antisemite of the Year” by the organization StopAntisemitism on Monday.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, wrote in a statement that Tlaib’s title “reflects a long history of anti-Semitism” and added that her comments about the Hamas attack were “unconscionable.”

“Tlaib not only victimized Israel, but also accused it of committing genocide against Palestinians and continues to defend calls to ethnically cleanse Israel of Jews and genocide,” she wrote.

Newsweek emailed Tlaib’s office seeking comment.

The organization specifically awarded the title to Tlaib over Haniyeh, Hamas’ top political leader, and other members of the militant group that led the deadly attack against Israel. In justifying its decision, the group pointed to several of Tlaib’s statements, including her calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “genocidal maniac” and criticism of U.S. funding for Israel.

It also highlighted her use of the “river to sea” chant. The congresswoman posted a video using the phrase on X, formerly Twitter, in November, sparking rebukes that culminated in a reprimand from the House of Representatives.

Singing has different meanings for different groups. Tlaib described it as an “ambitious call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not for death, destruction or hatred.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish advocacy group that combats antisemitism, defines it as “a call for a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, an area that includes the State of Israel, meaning dissolution “would.” of the Jewish state.”

According to the organization, Haniyeh and model Gigi Hadid were among the other celebrities who received the most votes. Nearly 15,000 people voted in the group’s poll. Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, previously posted on social media that he was “going on a death scam.” [Defcon] 3 about the Jewish people” received the title in 2022.