CNN’s Tapper slammed after implying Muslim Rep Rashida Tlaib is anti-Semitic for questioning Jewish Antony Blinken as new SecState

CNN’s Tapper slammed after implying Muslim Rep Rashida Tlaib is anti-Semitic for questioning Jewish Antony Blinken as new SecState

When Blinken, who is Jewish, was announced as Joe Biden’s pick for the cabinet position on Monday, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir called him a “solid choice.”

“So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies,” Tlaib tweeted in response, referring to the Israeli Prime Minister’s handling of the humanitarian situation in Palestine.

The Michigan Congresswoman, a Palestinian-American herself, has often sharply criticized the Israeli government, advocating for an end of US aid to the country and expressing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Israel and the current Republican US administration regard as anti-Semitic. Tlaib’s critics have often labeled her an anti-Semite for her active criticism of the top US ally, though she retorts that her criticism lies with the government, not Israeli citizens.

This time, Tlaib’s comment on Blinken raised the eyebrow of one Jake Tapper, who immediately suggested her concerns about him were rooted in anti-Semitism and posed a rhetorical question about the Muslim politician.

“[What] is it about Secretary of State – nominee Blinken that he makes the Congresswoman think that he would try to suppress her views about the Prime Minister of Israel? Hmmm,” the host tweeted, clearly insinuating it was Blinken’s Jewish heritage that alarmed Tlaib.

Tapper evidently had second thoughts about leveling such an accusation and then quickly deleted his tweet. He then rewrote it with much less provocative wording, asking why Tlaib was worried given that Blinken and Biden are “on the record” opposing efforts to punish or sanction the BDS movement.

Tapper’s clumsy attempt at a takedown of Tlaib attracted plenty of attention. The politician’s defenders argued that her comment was actually a reference to the anti-BDS policies of the current Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Thus, in their view, Tlaib was merely calling Blinken a political blank slate and indicating her hope that he would not continue the current administration’s policies.

Tlaib herself clarified to that effect, tweeting: “I hope that Mr. Blinken and President-Elect Biden’s Administration will change course.”

Others piled on the CNN host, saying it was Tapper himself who was being bigoted towards Tlaib, a Muslim woman. “I wonder what it’s about Rashida Tlaib that would make Jake Tapper respond like this?” tweeted one person, mocking Tapper’s initially coy phrasing.

There were, however, those who completely agreed with Tapper’s indirect allegations and who weren’t shy about accusing her more directly of anti-Semitism.

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