Reuters Corrects: Rashida Tlaib Not First Palestinian-American in Congress

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Reuters article which misidentified Rep. Rashida Tlaib as “the first Palestinian-American House member” (“In meeting with Israel’s Herzog, Biden cites ‘hard work’ ahead for peace“).

While Tlaib is apparently the first Palestinian-American woman in the House, she is not the first Palestinian-American representative. Congressman Justin Amash, whose father is Palestinian, served in the House from 2011 to 2021. Before them Republican John E. Sununu served in the House of Representatives from 1997 to 2003. His father descends from Greek Orthodox Christians from Jerusalem.

And the very first Palestinian member of Congress—albeit someone who was not Palestinian Arab—was John Hans Krebs, who served in California’s 17th district from 1974-79. Krebs was born in Berlin and moved to Mandate Palestine as a child in 1933.

Rep. Tlaib (Photo by SecretName101, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Media outlets which have previously corrected the identical error include Haaretz and the Hill

In response to communication from CAMERA, Reuters commendably amended the article to accurately refer to “the first Palestinian American woman in Congress.” Moreover, editors placed a prominent note at the top of the article alerting readers: “This July 18 story has been corrected to say Tlaib is the first Palestinian American woman in Congress in paragraph 14.”

This post was corrected on July 28, 2023 to report that Krebs was born in Berlin and moved to Mandate Palestine as a child. He was not born in Mandate Palestine.

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