Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar reportedly targeted in far-right operation

The Guardian revealed on Thursday that an Israeli-based group spreads hateful content to exploit Islamophobia for profit, reports claim.

U.S. Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) hold a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump's attacks on four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS)
U.S. Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) hold a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump's attacks on four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In an effort to "to inflame Islamophobia for profit," an Israel-based group uses 21 Facebook pages to spread misinformation about US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim woman in Congress, and Ilhan Omar, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
T
he Israeli based group posts more than a thousand coordinated posts per week to its more one million followers around the world, and "milks" traffic for digital advertising earnings, according to The Guardian.

The British publication has launched an investigation that it says revealed "a covert plot to control some of Facebook’s largest far-right pages and harvest Islamophobic hate for profit."

In the two years since the network launched, Omar was targeted 1,400 times and Tlaib nearly 1,200 times, according to the report.
“These are malicious actors operating in a foreign country, Israel, spreading misinformation and hate speech to influence elections in the United States. The goal of these anti-Muslim hate campaigns is clear – they put Muslim lives here and around the world at risk and undermine our country’s commitment to religious pluralism,” Omar told The Guardian. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Facebook’s complacency is a threat to our democracy."
Facebook removed several pages “that appeared to be financially motivated” after learning about The Guardian's investigation, the British publication reported.

In August, Israel banned Tlaib and Omar from entering the country, claiming they were intending to exploit the visit to attack Israel after the they announced they would be visiting the West Bank.

Omar and Tlaib are both outspoken critics of Israel and have called it an "apartheid state," comparing Israel's military rule over the West Bank with the discriminatory regime in South Africa. They both support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and have called for boycott of Israeli and West-Bank-settlement products.


On Wednesday, CNN reported that George Buck Jr., a Florida Republican congressional hopeful, was removed a GOP initiative after calling for Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez's, as well as other democrats, execution.

"We should hang these traitors where they stand," said Buck, who is challenging Democratic Representative Charlie Crist in Florida's 13 Congressional District, in an email. "I have no tolerance for those who are abusing our system to destroy our country."

Buck denied the claims accusing him of death threats, saying that he is a "decorated veteran of the 101st Airborne Division. As someone who has taken the oath to defend the Constitution, I take that oath very seriously." He then added that "anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law."

Tlaib responded to Buck, saying in her Twitter account that "the fact that those who make these violent threats very publicly without hesitation reaffirms just how much white supremacy has spread within the NRCC" on Wednesday. "They are raising money on a call to hang a Black Muslim member of Congress and too many are silent."

National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Michael McAdams said on Wednesday that the committee removed Buck from Young Guns, a recruiting initiative that supports candidates showing promise of running a successful campaign, according to CNN.