House Passes Censure Motion Against Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Stunning Rejection

( – The surprise Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 and the country’s declaration of war in response have raised tension in the Middle East, on campuses across the US, and even in the halls of Congress. On November 7, Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA) led the charge to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), notably the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, with House Resolution 845 for “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel” and “promoting false narratives.” The motion passed with 22 Democrats joining Republicans.

McCormick charged Tlaib with misconstruing facts when she referred to the Hamas attack as an action of “resistance” against an “apartheid state.” McCormick and many others interpreted the event as a terrorist attack that killed more than 1400 people.

The Georgia lawmakers also took issue with Tlaib continuing to claim that Israel bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital after US and Israeli intelligence agencies claimed the Jewish state hadn’t caused the explosion.

Finally, McCormick and others, including a number of Jewish Democrats, objected to her use of the popular Palestinian slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” because they interpreted the rhetoric as a call for the violent annihilation of the Israeli state and Jews. McCormick claimed she actively sought the country’s destruction.

Tlaib tried to defend herself during the debate preceding the vote. She argued that she has limited her criticism of Israel to its government, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She recounted her vocal criticism over the years of leaders’ handling of Gaza and the Palestinian people. After expressing disbelief, she stated, “Palestinian people are not disposable.”

Moreover, she insisted that criticizing Israel’s government wasn’t antisemitic or hate speech, but interpreting it that way could set a bad precedent against free speech. She also claimed the popular slogan represented a hopeful call for human rights, freedom, and peaceful coexistence, “not death, destruction, or hate.”

Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) defended Tlaib and her right to free speech, calling the reprimand for her views a degradation of the censure process. Rep. Bill Schneider (D-IL) replied that he would defend Tlaib’s right to “say whatever she wants,” but he made it clear that she would receive opinions in return, including censures.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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