The US House of Representatives has passed a motion to ‘censure’, or censure, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Tlaib, who has a Palestinian background, was convicted of “promoting false narratives about the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and calling for the destruction of the State of Israel,” according to the motion passed by a vote of 234 to 188. 22 Democrats voted in favor of the motion.
Tlaib’s critics pointed to her use of the phrase, among other things ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’. According to supporters and opponents, the slogan often expresses the pursuit of one state in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. If that were only a Palestinian state, the existence of the state of Israel would be ignored, which, according to opponents, is anti-Semitic. Hamas and Hezbollah also broke the slogan.
According to Tlaib, she merely calls for ‘to freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, and not to death, destruction or hatred.’ Tlaib defended her views during her five-minute speech in the House of Representatives. “My criticism has always been directed at the Israeli government and Netanyahu’s actions. It is important to separate people and governments because no government is above criticism,” Tlaib said. “The idea that criticizing Israel’s government is anti-Semitic sets a very dangerous precedent.”
Censorship of a member of Congress is merely a public condemnation of the member’s conduct and has no formal consequences for the member’s performance within the body. Censorship is relatively rare: in more than 200 years, only 25 MPs have been censored. Tjaib is number 26.
Also read: Chamber President Bergkamp bans Palestinian slogan ‘From the river to the sea’: ‘I don’t want to hear it anymore’