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December 12, 2019 1:16 pm

Rashida Tlaib Blames ‘White Supremacy’ for New Jersey Kosher Supermarket Killings

avatar by Shiri Moshe

US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Photo: Reuters / Aaron P. Bernstein.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) suggested on Thursday morning that “white supremacy” was behind a fatal shooting attack targeting the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket earlier this week, though officials have linked one of the suspects to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.

The congresswoman’s comment was made in response to a tweet shared by the left-wing Jewish activist group IfNotNow, which memorialized three of the four victims of the shooting attack: supermarket co-owner Leah Mindy Ferencz, employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and rabbinical student Moshe Deutsch. Also killed was Police Detective Joseph Seals.

“This is heartbreaking,” wrote Tlaib in a tweet, which has since been deleted. “White supremacy kills.”

The two suspects behind the shooting have been identified as David N. Anderson and Francine Graham, both of whom died in a gun battle with police. Anderson was reportedly a one-time follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which is known for promoting ideology hostile to Jews, white people and the police. A note found in a van used by the shooters contained both antisemitic and anti-police writing, law enforcement told CNN on Wednesday.

Tlaib’s tweet sparked a backlash on social media, with multiple commentators accusing her of appearing to only care about antisemitism when the perpetrators were associated with white supremacy, and questioning why she did not issue a corrected tweet condemning the violence.

In a previous tweet, published Wednesday from the congresswoman’s second Twitter account, Tlaib said of the Jersey City shooting, “It was beyond heartbreaking to learn of what appears to be another anti-Semitic act of violence. The hate growing in our country is toxic.” A subsequent tweet called to fight hate and “stem the tide of gun violence.”

The congresswoman has previously faced criticism from the Jewish community for her support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, which major Jewish groups in the US and worldwide have accused of denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, advancing antisemitic tropes and creating a hostile environment for Jews. Supporters of the campaign say it aims to advance Palestinian rights and address the injustice of Israel’s founding.

Tlaib has also been questioned over her association with anti-Zionist activists including Abbas Hamideh, a vocal supporter of the terrorist group Hezbollah, and her suggestion in January that lawmakers who backed anti-BDS legislation “forgot what country they represent.”

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