News and Commentary

Buzzfeed Gives Anti-Israel Activists Who Harassed Chelsea Clinton A Guest Column

Buzzfeed News gave the two anti-Israel activists who confronted Chelsea Clinton at a NYC memorial for victims of a horrific mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, the opportunity to write a “guest column” on their site, and the two women took it as an opportunity to double-down, smearing and attacking Clinton even further.

Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf accosted the pregnant Clinton on Friday evening on her way into the memorial service, and accused her of “inciting” the mosque shooter because Clinton had sided against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her anti-Semitic language. Clinton tweeted last week that it was reasonable to expect American legislators “to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”

“This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world,” Dweik, who was clad in a Bernie Sanders tee, shouted at a shocked Chelsea Clinton. “And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deeply — 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,”

Clinton maintained her composure throughout the interaction, telling Dweik that she was “sorry [Dweik] felt that way.”

Dweik and Asaf, who eventually posted a video of the interaction that went viral, did not. They later went on social media to drag Clinton further, saying her mere presence at the memorial service was insulting. “[I] was on the verge of tears all day today and actually cried on my into and during prayer but the charade of a vigil where more non-[M]uslims than [M]uslims spoke and [C]helsea [C]linton was invited made me so viscerally angry and [I] will not apologize for that,” Dweik wrote.

Saturday, in a bizarre move, Buzzfeed extended a platform to the pair, allowing them access to their readership. Apparently unsatisfied with their previous barrage of insults, Dweik and Asaf used the forum to attack Clinton yet again, smearing her for simply standing against anti-Semitic language.

In the piece (click at your own risk), Dweik and Asaf accuse Clinton, without any apparent evidence, of using her platform as the daughter of a former president to “fan those flames” of a “bigoted, anti-Muslim mob,” apparently referring to the wide swath of commentators who criticized Omar for repeatedly trotting out the anti-Semitic “dual loyalty” smear, accusing Jewish legislators of having divided allegiance to both the United States and Israel.

Dweik and Asaf, of course, defended Omar’s comments, claiming that Omar was merely “speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby.”

Just weeks before this tragedy, we bore witness to a bigoted, anti-Muslim mob coming after Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby in this country. As people in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and human rights, we were profoundly disappointed when Chelsea Clinton used her platform to fan those flames. We believe that Ilhan Omar did nothing wrong except challenge the status quo, but the way many people chose to criticize Omar made her vulnerable to anti-Muslim hatred and death threats.

The comments aren’t surprising. Dweik, at least, is no faux “anti-Zionist”; she has spoken before about “demolishing Israel.”

Worse still, Dweik and Asaf went on to accuse Clinton of “stok(ing) hatred against” Muslims and fomenting the “anti-Muslim bigotry” that “created this killer” — the man who killed at least 50 people at two separate mosques in New Zealand. The pair accused Clinton, even, of hurting their fight against “white supremacy” “when she stood by the petty weaponizers (sic) of anti-semitism.”

The full essay is not only sickening, it’s chilling. Even Mediaite — not necessarily a conservative outlet — chastised Buzzfeed for its apparent lack of editorial oversight, allowing two women to use their platform to attack Chelsea Clinton without requiring them to provide any evidence of their claims.