House Moves Closer to Censoring Tlaib, Citing ‘River to Sea’ Slogan | ET REALITY


The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved closer to censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., prompting lawmakers to formally reprimand the only Palestinian American in Congress for her statements about the war between Israel and Hamas.

A Democrat broke with the party and joined the majority of Republicans in voting against introducing or eliminating, the resolution, which accuses Tlaib of “promoting false narratives” surrounding the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and “calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.” The vote was 213 to 208, with one vote “present,” suggesting there was enough support in the House for the resolution to pass in a final vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois was the only Democrat to vote to allow the measure to advance. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., voted “present” and declined to rule on whether the measure should be blocked. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to introduce the resolution.

The Republican-drafted measure rebuking Tlaib was the latest flashpoint in an intensifying debate in Congress over the war between Israel and Hamas that has divided Democrats. While many of them strongly support Israel, there is growing pressure from the progressive left to call for a ceasefire and focus on the plight of the Palestinian people in the face of rising civilian deaths and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Loop. Tlaib has been by far the most vocal member of Congress to do so.

The measure, offered by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., argued that a statement made by Ms. Tlaib After Hamas’s attack on Israel – which called for an end to the “apartheid system that creates suffocating and dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance” – he “defended” terrorism.

He also cited Tlaib’s adoption of the phrase “from the river to the sea,” a pro-Palestinian rallying cry that is widely considered a call for the eradication of Israel and considered anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League. The resolution called the phrase “a genocidal call for violence to destroy the State of Israel and its people and replace it with a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

Tlaib has said that the slogan, which was used by pro-Palestinian protesters who appear in a video she posted accusing President Biden of supporting genocide in Gaza, is “a call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not for death, destruction or hate.”

During the floor debate after the vote, Ms. Tlaib became emotional as she reiterated her calls for a ceasefire, defended her criticism of the Israeli government and asked for sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but the Palestinian people are not disposable,” she said, appearing to hold back tears as Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., rose to console her. “The screams of Palestinian and Israeli children don’t sound different to me.”

Tlaib said her criticism had “always been” against the Israeli government, not the Israeli people, and warned her colleagues that the movement calling for a ceasefire was “growing every day.”

“They can try to censor me, but they can’t silence their voices,” he said.

Many Democrats have condemned Tlaib’s remarks. And on Tuesday, Schneider, the only Democrat to vote against introducing the resolution, accused Tlaib of “trying to enlighten the world and give cover” to those who use the “from the river to the sea” slogan.

“I will always defend the right to freedom of expression,” Schneider said in a statement. “Tlaib has the right to say whatever he wants. But he cannot remain unanswered.”

Last week, the House overturned a separate censure of Tlaib offered by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who accused Tlaib of “anti-Semitic activity” and had called for an Oct. 18 protest at a House office building. as “a protest”. insurrection.”

Mrs. Greene amended and reintroduced its censure resolution, which faces a similar vote Tuesday night. Instead, the new version refers to the Oct. 18 protest, in which Tlaib accused Israel of genocide, as an “illegal occupation” of a House office building.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., opposed Ms. Greene’s resolution last week and said he intended to vote against the new pair of censures as well.

“It’s not our job to censure someone because we don’t agree with them,” he said. “Let the Ethics Committee see it. Let others see it, but I will not vote in favor of a motion of censure unless it is very serious behavior.”

It is rare for a member of Congress to be censured, which amounts to a public reprimand one step below expulsion. Before June, the House had censured members only 24 times in the chamber’s history. But censure resolutions have increasingly been used in recent months to trade partisan criticism and blame between both parties.

In its first week of considering legislative business after a month of paralysis due to the chaotic race for the presidency, the House considered two consecutive censure resolutions. Since then, at least three more censure resolutions have been presented.

The measures are preempted under House rules, meaning they take priority over other legislative business and are not subject to the discretion of congressional leaders.

Karoun Demirjian contributed with reports.

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