The Media are mum on the virulently anti-Semitic group behind Rashida Tlaib’s and Ilhan Omar’s since-canceled Israel trip – Washington Examiner
Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s since-canceled trip to Israel was sponsored by Miftah, an exceptionally anti-Semitic group that encourages Palestinian terrorists and claims Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover. The organization also publishes Neo-Nazis and supports calls for the destruction of Israel.
But you would never know this about Miftah from following the press’ coverage of the congresswomen’s fight this week with the government of Israel. In reporting on Omar and Tlaib’s controversial junket, some of America’s largest and most prestigious newsrooms have managed somehow to omit the most damning details of the sponsoring group’s outright anti-Jewish bigotry.
Just an oversight, I am sure.
The L.A. Times’ editorial board, for example, describes Miftah simply as “a nonprofit organization headed by a Palestinian lawmaker.” No further context is provided. Additional reporting from the L.A. Times on Israel’s decision to block Tlaib and Omar from visiting does not even mention that the U.S. lawmakers’ trip was sponsored by Miftah.
The remaining six Associated Press reports refer to the anti-Semitic organization simply as a “Palestinian group,” a “Palestinian organization,” and twice as a “Palestinian organization aimed at highlighting the plight of the Palestinians.” The group’s anti-Semitism and anti-Israel mission are never mentioned.
Over at the New York Times, there is more of the same. The editorial board chose Thursday to focus its anger on President Trump, claiming he encouraged Israel to block the trip solely “to titillate the bigots in his base.” Speaking of bigots, the editorial’s only mention of Miftah is when it quotes the anti-Semitic group directly to describe it as one that promotes “global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.” Additional New York Times reporting characterizes Miftah only as “an organization headed by a longtime Palestinian lawmaker, Hanan Ashrawi.”
To the newspaper’s credit, it published an opinion article Friday, which correctly describes Miftah as a group that “has proudly praised female suicide bombers and pushed the medieval blood libel.” So, there is at least that. But that is it. The United States’ most powerful newspaper makes no mention anywhere else of Miftah’s activities and beliefs in its coverage of the Omar and Tlaib vs. Israel story.
The Washington Post’s reporting has been similarly silent on Miftah’s outrageous bigotry. Two separate articles, one published Thursday and one published Friday, use the exact same language to characterize Miftah as “a nonprofit organization headed by Palestinian lawmaker and longtime peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi.” That is it. Nothing more. Though the Washington Post could not be bothered to provide any details or commentary on the nature of Miftah, it did manage to find the time to profile Rep. Tlaib’s grandmother.
There is much, much more like this from our leading newsrooms.
Of Miftah, Reuters says only that it is “a West Bank-based nongovernmental organization that is co-sponsoring the trip.” Yahoo! Finance calls it simply a “nonprofit organization headed by Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi.” Bloomberg News does not even try to describe the group. ABC News meanwhile quotes Miftah to describe it as a “nonprofit Palestinian group” that seeks a “sovereign, independent, democratic, tolerant and inclusive Palestinian state, which grants Palestinians their basic rights, preserves their dignity, and enjoys international recognition and respect.”
The Washington Examiner itself published articles this week quoting the anti-Semitic organization directly to characterize it as a pro-Palestinian nonprofit that seeks a “sovereign, independent, democratic, tolerant and inclusive Palestinian state.” However, unlike every other newsroom mentioned in the above, and with the sole exception of that one New York Times op-ed, the Washington Examiner is the only one that has provided additional reporting and commentary detailing Miftah’s anti-Semitic history, activities, and mission statement.
If I remember correctly, American newsrooms were quick in 2018 to talk about the dangers posed to Jews in both the United States and abroad following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. There was no shortage of discussions about the threats Jews face every day with the worldwide rise of anti-Semitic sentiment. None of this is wrong. Anti-Semitism is real and it is getting worse.
It is nothing short of breathtaking, then, to see that many of these same newsrooms have chosen to ignore Miftah’s overtly anti-Semitic beliefs and rhetoric. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the two American lawmakers involved in this week’s story are also members of the Democratic Party. I am sure that is totally unrelated.