by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
United States embassies throughout the Middle East were attacked Tuesday night after Hamas falsely claimed the Israel Defense Forces bombed a hospital in Gaza, killing 500 civilians.
Every part of the Hamas story was a lie: it was a rocket from inside Gaza aimed at Israel that caused the damage; a parking lot near a hospital, not the hospital itself, was hit; and nowhere near 500 people died.
In any armed conflict, it can be immediately clear who is responsible for what violence and how many people have been killed. But this is all the more reason that elected officials should exercise caution when sharing and promoting information from the battlefield.
That is not what Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) or Ilhan Omar (D-MN) did Tuesday after Hamas claimed Israel had targeted a civilian hospital in Gaza.
“Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that,” Tlaib said in a post on X that still has not been deleted as of this writing.
“Bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes,” Omar added in another post that remains undeleted. “[Biden] needs to push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter.”
Neither of these elected Democratic officials bothered to find out the truth or even listen to what the IDF had to say. Nor did they ask for any evidence from the terrorist organization to support the claims it was making. Instead, these two members of Congress immediately spread Hamas lies to promote their own political goals, which are remarkably similar to Hamas’s.
The IDF responded to Hamas’s claims quickly, posting first a denial, then more and more evidence that the explosion near the hospital was a misfired or malfunctioning rocket launched within Gaza and aimed at Israel. In other words, it wasn’t fired by Israel but fired at Israel.