The House voted 234-188 to censure Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, who said she would not be silenced.
The United States House of Representatives has voted to censure Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, over her comments on the Israel-Hamas war.
The House voted 234-188 Tuesday night to censure the three-term Democratic congresswoman from Michigan.
About 22 members of her own party joined Republicans in supporting a resolution that claimed Tlaib had “spread false narratives about Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 and called for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
The penalty is one step below expulsion and follows a failed censure resolution last week.
More than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began bombing the Gaza Strip a month ago after the armed group Hamas killed at least 1,400 people and captured more than 200 in an attack on Israel.
The United States, long Israel’s most ardent supporter, has resisted calls for a ceasefire despite growing global anger over the humanitarian crisis in the densely populated territory of 2.3 million people.
While Tlaib criticized the Israeli response and US support for it, he also repeatedly condemned the Hamas attack.
Before the vote, she defended her position and said she would “not allow herself to be silenced” or allow her words to be distorted.
Together with several progressive Democratic colleagues at her side, she emphasized that her criticism had always been directed against the Israeli government and its leadership under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“It is important to separate the people and the government,” she said. “The idea that criticism of the Israeli government is anti-Semitic sets a very dangerous precedent. And it has been used to silence various voices advocating for human rights in our country.”
The debate on the censure motion, introduced by Georgia Republican Rich McCormick, was emotional and intense. Some lawmakers focused on the “River to Sea” slogan that Tlaib had frequently used, calling it an “ambitious call.” for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence”.
As she defended her position, Tlaib was overwhelmed.
“The Palestinian people are not disposable,” she said, taking a long pause. Her grandmother lives in a village in the occupied West Bank.
Several Democrats joined the vote to censure Tlaib [House Television via AP Photo]
Brad Schneider, a Jewish Democrat from Illinois, said he thought it was important to discuss what the words meant.
“It is nothing other than a call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews,” he said. “I will always defend the right to freedom of expression. Tlaib has the right to say whatever she wants.”
He added: “But it cannot go unanswered.”
It was unclear whether Schneider supported the final passage of the resolution.
Other Democrats warned of the risks to free speech from the disregard and the precedent it would set.
“This resolution not only degrades our Constitution, but it also diminishes the importance of discipline in this body for people who actually commit unlawful acts such as bribery, fraud, violent assault, etc.,” said Jamie Raskin, who defended Tlaib against the resolution.
Reprimanded MPs will be asked to stand on the House floor while the no-confidence resolution is read to them.
With the vote, Tlaib will become the second Muslim-American woman in Congress to be formally reprimanded this year for criticizing Israel, joining Ilhan Omar.
Republicans voted in February to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Source : www.aljazeera.com