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US House censures Rashida Tlaib over Israel-Hamas comments

WASHINGTON, Nov 8, 2023 (Net) – The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to censure Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, over her comments on the Israel-Hamas war, US media reported.
The Democrat was censured by Republicans and some members of her own party in a resolution that passed by 234 votes to 188.
The resolution said Tlaib was “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”
The censure identified a series of statements made by Tlaib, including a video posted on social media in which she accuses President Joe Biden of supporting what she described as the “genocide” of Palestinians and calling on him to back a ceasefire, according to the text of the motion.
The video also shows a crowd chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which the mo-tion said “is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel.”
Tlaib had said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate”.
She defended herself in an emotional address after the vote, US media reported.
“It is important to separate people and governments,” Tlaib said.
“No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is anti-Semitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation,” she said.
Israel launched a massive campaign in the Gaza Strip after Hamas militants staged an unprecedented at-tack on October 7 that killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, Israel’s relentless bombardment has killed more than 10,300 people, many of them children.
Calls for a halt in the fighting have gone unheeded, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisting there would be no pause until the more than 240 hostages seized by Hamas are freed.
A censure does not equal an expulsion from the House but carries more weight than a reprimand.
It was the second time in two weeks Tlaib has faced formal disapproval over her criticism of Israel.
Last week, Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene brought forward a more strongly worded resolution against Tlaib, which was blocked by the House, CNN reported.
Tlaib is part of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, which includes representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley.
Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were elected as the first US Muslim congresswomen.

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