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US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib censured over criticism of Israel

November 8, 2023 at 11:08 am

Palestinian descent US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib takes part in a demonstration organized with the attendance of multiple Jewish groups outside the Capitol Building in Washington DC, United States on October 18, 2023 to advocate for a halt in hostilities in Gaza [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

The US House of Representatives voted late on Tuesday to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib due to her criticism of Israel over the bombing of Gaza. The resolution, introduced by Republican Rich McCormick, was passed in a 234-188 vote. Twenty-two Democrats voted with Republicans to rebuke Tlaib.

The resolution accused Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress, of “promoting false narratives regarding the 7 October, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

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Tlaib has drawn criticism from both her Republican colleagues and some within her own Democratic party due to her comments about the Israeli government. The controversy was fuelled further by a video she shared on social media that included the slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Tlaib became emotional on Tuesday during her speech on the floor of the House of Representatives amid a debate over the resolution seeking to censure her. “I can’t believe we have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable,” said the congresswoman representing Michigan. “We are human beings just like anyone else.”

Holding a photograph up for her fellow House members to see, Tlaib continued: “My grandmother, like all Palestinians, just wants to live her life with freedom and human dignity we all deserve. Speaking up to save lives — no matter faith, no matter ethnicity — should not be controversial in this chamber. The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinian children sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity.”

The congresswoman stressed that her criticism has always been of the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions.

A resolution against Tlaib introduced by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene last week was quashed by House Democrats with the support of some Republicans.

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