The United States House of Representatives has voted to censure Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for her comments critical of Israel and her support for the Palestinians during Israel’s war against Hamas. The resolution, led by the Republican Party, marks a significant rebuke to the Michigan Democrat, who is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.
The vote resulted in 234 votes in favor and 188 against, with four Republicans voting against and 22 Democrats voting in favor of the censure resolution. The resolution, introduced by Georgia Republican Rep. Rich McCormick, advanced earlier in the day after an attempt by Democrats to block the measure failed.
Tlaib has defended herself against the censorship attempts, arguing that they are an effort to silence her and saying that her “colleagues have resorted to distorting my positions in resolutions full of obvious lies.” Following the vote to advance the censure resolution, Tlaib made an emotional speech on the floor, arguing that her criticism of the Israeli government should not be confused with anti-Semitism.
In addition to Republican criticism, several Democrats have also criticized Tlaib for her defense of the pro-Palestinian chant “from the river to the sea.” The Anti-Defamation League describes the chant as “an anti-Semitic slogan.” Tlaib has defended the phrase, writing that it is a call for justice and dignity for all people, regardless of faith or ethnicity.
Both censorship resolutions reference Tlaib’s comments following an explosion at a Gaza hospital last month. The resolutions state that Tlaib knowingly spread false narratives about Israel’s responsibility for the attack.
In response to the resolutions, Tlaib stated, “It is a shame that my colleagues are more focused on silencing me than saving lives, at a time when the death toll in Gaza exceeds 10,000. Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply don’t matter to them, but I still don’t watch their rhetoric or their actions.”
The controversial vote and the ongoing debate over Tlaib’s comments reflect the deep partisan and ideological divide that continues to shape American politics.
— CNN’s Manu Raju and Sam Fossum (Ready for Publishing)