A defiant Rep. Rashida Tlaib said in the House of Representatives that she will not be “silenced” after a resolution rejecting her claim.
Tlaib, D-Mich., noted that she is the only Palestinian-American in Congress. ‘My perspective is needed here now more than ever. I will not be silenced and I will not let you twist my words,” she said in an impassioned speech.
“There are millions of people in our country who do not support Netanyahu’s extremism and are tired of seeing our country support collective punishment,” she continued.
“My criticism has always been directed at the Israeli government,” Tlaib said. “The idea that criticizing the Israeli government is anti-Semitic sets a dangerous precedent.”
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings. Just like my grandmother, just like all Palestinians, who just wants to live her life with the freedom and human dignity that we all deserve,” Tlaib continued, holding up a photo of her grandmother living on Palestinian territory.
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, even as some Republicans sided with Democrats over concerns about free speech.
An attempt to table or quash the resolution failed by a vote of 208 to 213. Nearly all Democrats, including many of those who expressed concern about Tlaib’s words, voted in favor of the motion to introduce the resolution.
The resolution will be voted on on Wednesday. Censorship is a form of public reprimand without formal consequences.
The rebuke came after Tlaib defended the use of a rallying cry used by Palestinian militants: “from the river to the sea.”
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib, after some Republicans sided with Democrats over concerns about free speech.
Six Republicans voted with Democrats to introduce the resolution: representatives. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Mike Garcia, R-Calif., Tom McClintock, R-Calif., John Duarte, R-Calif., Ryan Zinke, R-Texas, and Ken Buck, R-Colo.
One Democrat, Rep. Susan Wild., D-Pa., voted “present” on the resolution. Another, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., voted in favor. The Republican Party-led resolution was saved by a number of Democratic absentees.
At the same time, 70 Democrats signed an agreement rack led by Schneider who condemned the use of the phrase “from the river to the sea” and called it “a rallying cry for the destruction of the State of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people.”
Republicans who opposed the resolution raised concerns about free speech and said the censure was a waste of time.
“I’m going to censure the next person who introduces a censure,” Rep. Thomas Massie, who voted against it, told reporters.
“We all need to stop this nonsense,” said Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. “People will have disagreements, sometimes they will be wrong about the facts. So be it, let their voters make that decision.”
Democratic leaders warned their rank-and-file members not to “divide” Congress by voting for the Republican-led measure.
A handful of Democrats said they would vote with their party in favor of overturning the resolution, but would vote with Republicans if it were to pass on Wednesday.
This privileged resolution was put forward by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., had forced a vote on a Tlaib censure resolution last week for “incitement of insurrection,” referring to a ceasefire protest on Capitol Hill.
That resolution failed when 23 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the resolution.
Greene reintroduced her own resolution, replacing “insurrection” with “illegal occupation.” Her resolution will be voted on Tuesday evening.
The Republican Party leadership in the House of Representatives opted to hold the McCormick vote first because it had a better chance of passing, likely hoping that Greene would then withdraw her resolution.
This privileged resolution was brought forward by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga
McCormick voted to introduce Greene’s resolution last week. His resolution took issue with the Michigan Democrat “for spreading false stories about Hamas’ 10/7 attack on Israel and calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
His resolution makes no mention of the ceasefire protest.
It called out Tlaib for “knowingly spreading the false story that Israel deliberately bombed a hospital in Gaza.”
Israeli intelligence claimed that the hospital explosion, which killed dozens of people, was caused by a failed Hamas rocket.
It also recalled a video Tlaib posted featuring a chant often used by Palestinian militants: “from the river to the sea.”
The chant is widely used by those who do not believe that Israel has a right to exist.
‘(Biden), tThe majority of the American people disagree with you on this. #CeasefireNow,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter alongside the clip.
Later, Tlaib claimed on Twitter that the phrase had not been used to promote violence.
“From the River to the Sea is an ambitious call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, and not for death, destruction or hatred,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday.
The resolution also mentioned Tlaib’s Oct. 8 statement after Hamas’s attack on Israel, which she called “resistance.”
The statement read: “I mourn the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today and every day. I am as determined as ever to fight for a just future where everyone can live in peace, without fear and with true freedom, equal rights and human dignity. The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.”
Meanwhile, Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, accused her colleagues of being “more focused on silencing me than saving lives as the death toll in Gaza surpasses 10,000.”
Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast compared Palestinians to Nazis and said “very few” of them are innocent in a wild tirade on the floor of the House of Representatives
“Many of them have shown that Palestinian lives still do not matter to them, but I do not monitor their rhetoric,” she said, adding a new call for a ceasefire.
Rep. Sara Jacobs, a Jewish Democrat from California, has introduced a retaliatory resolution to censure Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., which is also up for a vote this week for comparing Palestinian citizens to Nazis.
Jacobs’ resolution cites “inflammatory statements about innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza who are in danger through no fault of their own.”
“I would encourage the other side not to treat the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians so lightly. I don’t think we would throw around the term innocent Nazi civilians so lightly,” Mast said in a speech last week.
Weeks ago, Mast wore his Israeli Army uniform to Capitol Hill.