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Rashida Tlaib censure passes

7 months ago 83

The Michigan progressive had angered not only Republicans but also some members of her own party with her comments criticizing the Israeli government, including her posting a video on social media with a chant that is a rallying cry for Hamas: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The phrase refers to a desired Palestinian state that would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. It is viewed as a call for violence against Israel and a rejection of Israel’s right to exist.

It’s the latest development in what has become an ongoing House censure war. Democrats defeated a similar motion to reprimand Tlaib last week, when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) started the push.

Nearly two dozen Republicans joined all Democrats in sinking that measure, which compared a pro-Palestinian protest at the Capitol to an “insurrection.” In response, Democrats introduced a motion to censure Greene, though they withdrew it before a vote. Greene reintroduced her measure to censure Tlaib after stripping the language about “insurrection,” though she pulled back when the House acted on the McCormick-led resolution.

Then, on Monday night, Democrats also introduced a censure of Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) after he compared “innocent Palestinian civilians” to “innocent Nazi civilians.”

Tlaib, whose Detroit-area district includes a large Arab American population, is the first Palestinian American woman in Congress and is currently the only Palestinian American. She’s been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government during her tenure in Congress and has also vocally called for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Speaking on the House floor earlier Tuesday, Tlaib said her colleagues had distorted her positions, and she reiterated that her criticism was solely of the Israeli government: “The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent.”

But that explanation wasn’t good enough for some House Democrats.

“That’s not acceptable rhetoric,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), who on Tuesday released a statement, along with 70 other Democrats condemning the language used by Tlaib.

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