As reported here, since October 17 when an errant missile hit the parking lot of a Baptist hospital in Gaza, Del. Salam “Sam” Rasoul (D-Roanoke City) has posted this to his X account.
Today Israel bombed a hospital and a UN school. War crimes it will never be held accountable for.
Over 1000 children dead in 10 days.
— Sam Rasoul (@Sam_Rasoul) October 17, 2023
Within about 24 hours, however, the Democrat Biden administration, Senate Intelligence Committee, and major news outlets concluded the missile was not from Israel, but rather was a failed rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel that missed its target.
Despite the preponderance of evidence that now indicates Rasoul’s original post was in error, he has not taken it down nor apologized for it. In fact, on October 20 and again on October 24 The Roanoke Star reached out to Del. Rasoul for any explanation of his post and why he had not taken it down, despite it having been debunked as early as October 18. However, no response has been received from him, nor from his legislative aide Lily Franklin running for the House of Delegates.
As of November 6, his misleading post has received over 115,000 views, which equals the population of Roanoke City plus two Vintons.
Within hours of his post, many commenters on X were calling on Rasoul to remove it on account that it spread false information, put Americans overseas at risk, propagated anti-Semitism and risks of violence here at home, and was hateful. Below is a sample of responses.
Your lie, which has now been debunked is putting US service members in extreme danger all over the Arab world. Virginia deserves a better delegate. https://t.co/nSgC9C0eTn
— Coco’s Dad (@kilshaw_81) October 18, 2023
This is the new blood libel.
Congrats for spreading it.
— Breaking Norfolk (@breakingnorfolk) October 17, 2023
— Peter Feddo | 🇺🇸 Stands With Ukraine 🇺🇦🌻 (@PeterFeddo) October 18, 2023
Sickening that you would leave this up after the President Biden made clear U.S. intel showed Israelis had nothing to do with this attack. A hateful assertion about the Israeli people, absent of facts, is simply hate. You are an embarrassment to the people of Virginia.
— VA Progressive 10 (@VaProgress26043) October 21, 2023
Are you going to delete this lie? You are sickening.
— Ariel Judah (@ArielJaclyn) October 18, 2023
Rasoul needs to be primaried in the Democrat primary. Roanoke doesn’t need leftist supporting terrorists!
— Southern State of Mind (@MindSouthern) October 18, 2023
— lowkell (@lowkell) October 19, 2023
This reader pointed out the irony between Rasoul’s campaign slogan and the content of his post.
“elevating truth” pic.twitter.com/OdyedRk5Xp
— Shloglow (@shloglow) October 17, 2023
Moreover, even the leftwing bluevirginia.us as early as October 18 was reporting the blast came from a failed Hamas terrorist missile and not from Israel.
If anyone thinks concern about this issue is “hair-splitting” or that Rasoul didn’t remove his offensive post because he has simply “moved on,” think again. Willfully spreading such fake news is incendiary and pours gas on the fire of anti-Semitism, as if our country wasn’t divided already. Just last Saturday, an angry anti-Israel mob numbering in the tens of thousands or maybe even 100,000 descended on Washington DC, defacing revered historic statutes, smearing the White House gates with fake blood, and even trying to storm the Executive Mansion’s fences.
Elections have consequences, and fake news has consequences too.
The Roanoke Valley has long had a respected, vibrant Jewish community. It remains to be seen what effect if any Rasoul’s clinging to his baseless, anti-Semitic statement has on this fall’s elections and his own political future.
Roanoke City deserves better.