After the Murder of a Jewish Man in California, Tlaib Is Censured for Anti-Semitism
On Monday, news broke that a Jewish man died during an altercation with a pro-Palestinian protestor. Some media outlets have chosen to frame this as an uncontroversial incident, overlooking the troubling circumstances. Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jewish man, engaged in a pro-Israel counter-demonstration in Los Angeles with his wife when a supporter of Palestine came and struck Kessler in the head with a bullhorn. The elderly man fell backward, hit his head, and bled severely from both the back of his head and his mouth.
Kessler wasn’t at the hospital long when he was pronounced dead, and the ongoing investigation of the assault has been deemed a homicide by the police, who are also not ruling it out as a hate crime. “An event that spiraled out of control, perhaps,” wrote the National Review’s Noah Rothman. “An accidental homicide, but a homicide, nonetheless. And it’s unlikely to be the last.”
According to the FBI, there’s been a 37% “increase in recorded anti-Jewish attacks,” which “made 2022 the second worst year since the FBI began tracking those incidents in 1991.” But 2023 is sure to be more violent. This increase translates to “1,122 incidents, the highest number recorded in almost three decades and the second-highest number on record.” Some other accounts of what is happening in the U.S. include a woman named Ruba Almaghtheh, who confessed to the police she purposefully crashed her car into a school she believed was full of Jewish children. This took place hours before Kessler was murdered.
This tension has not escaped U.S. Congress either, as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) was formally censured by her House colleagues — including 22 Democrats — for her pro-Hamas comments, including her accusation that President Biden supports Palestinian “genocide,” demanding an immediate ceasefire, and chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Refusing to retract her support of the terrorists, Tlaib claimed the phrase as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence,” despite the fact that this phrase is from Hamas and clearly calls for the destruction of Israel. “[S]he knows darn well that she’s talking about the existence of Israel, that Palestine should replace the existence of an entire people, an entire nation,” said Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” Tlaib’s sentiments were echoed in the massive protest outside the White House this past weekend, where approximately 100,000 people gathered to relay the message: “It is right to rebel! Israel can go to hell!”
McCormick reiterated many Palestinians have been abused by the Hamas terrorist group — an issue he believes should be addressed. “But right now,” he said, “I have never, ever in my lifetime … seen the anti-Semitism that exists in the United States. … It is as dangerous as anything I’ve seen, and the actions of [Tlaib] have actually encouraged that.” He added, “And yet she did it knowing it would incite violence towards Jews. We’ve had Jewish people carrying Israeli flags in America murdered. Let that sink in.”
Perkins agreed. “It’s a warning sign of what is to come if we don’t address it and stop it.” He warned, “Her statements are statements of support for a terrorist organization. That should not be tolerated by someone who is a member of Congress.”
McCormick highlighted the October 7 attack by Hamas as the “second largest elimination of Jews since the Holocaust.” Yet, “within 24 hours, [Tlaib] was despicable enough to talk anti-Israel slogans, anti-Israel statements, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic, whatever you want to call it. She has been despicable in her rhetoric.” He added, “And no, I’m not talking about Islamophobia. I’m talking about anti-Semitism.”
As Perkins put it, her actions “can only be seen as fueling the type of activities we saw on the streets here in D.C. over the weekend,” as well as the increased violence occurring across the country.
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.