Tlaib cries as she defends the censure decision due to criticism of Israel
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, facing a second impeachment resolution over her criticism of Israel, became emotional on the House floor Tuesday as she defended her views on the deadly conflict.
Tlaib rose to speak during discussion of a resolution introduced by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., that would censure her for “promoting false narratives regarding Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 and calling for the destruction of the state.” From Israel.”
Tlaib’s critics point to her use of the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which some consider a call to end Israel’s existence. However, Tlaib said it was “an ambitious call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction or hatred.”
Flanked by some of her progressive Democratic colleagues, Tlaib said she would not be “silenced” and accused members of distorting her words.
“I can’t believe we have to say this, but the Palestinian people are disposable,” she said, before breaking down in tears for several seconds. Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, stood to comfort Tlaib before continuing.
“We are human beings like everyone else,” she said. “My grandmother, like all Palestinians, just wants to live her life with the freedom and human dignity that we all deserve.” “Speaking out to save lives regardless of religion or race should not be controversial in this room. The cries of Palestinian and Israeli children do not sound different to me. What I do not understand is why the cries of Palestinian children sound different to all of you. We cannot We lose our common humanity.
House Democrats’ attempt to push McCormick’s resolution, or effectively kill him, failed Tuesday afternoon. The House debated the censure resolution on Tuesday, and is expected to take a final vote on its passage on Wednesday, according to an updated schedule from House Majority Whip Tom Emmer.
Voting to convict a member of Congress has no authority beyond publicly condemning the member’s conduct. He does not deny privileges in Congress or expel a member. A simple majority is all that is required to pass a censorship decision.
Blame is relatively rare – Only 25 House lawmakers have been censured in history..
This will be the second attempt in as many weeks to convict Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American member of Congress, over her controversial comments about Israel amid its response to the deadly Hamas terror attack. The United States has classified Hamas as a terrorist organization.
In Israel, at least 1,400 people have been killed and 6,900 others injured since the surprise attack on October 7, according to Israeli officials. In the neighboring Gaza Strip, where the Israel Defense Forces is deepening its operational activities, more than 10,000 people have been killed and nearly 26,000 others injured, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
The first resolution, introduced by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene last week, was killed by House Democrats with the help of some Republicans. The House rejected the Georgia congresswoman’s efforts by a vote of 222 to 186.
Tlaib initially angered some of her colleagues by refusing to apologize for blaming Israel for a deadly hospital explosion in Gaza that American officials believe was caused by a rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.
Recently, she faced criticism for calling for a ceasefire as the war between Israel and Gaza raged. It went so far as to accuse President Joe Biden of supporting “genocide” of Palestinians due to his administration’s resistance to a general ceasefire, even though Biden called for a temporary pause in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid to enter and civilians to leave.
Tlaib defended her views during her five-minute speech on the House floor.
Tlaib said: “Let me be clear: my criticism has always been directed at the Israeli government and Netanyahu’s actions. It is important to separate people from governments, Mr. President, no government is above criticism.” “The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is anti-Semitism sets an extremely dangerous precedent and is being used to silence diverse voices standing up for human rights across our nation.”
It also once again targeted President Joe Biden, specifically over his previous comment questioning death toll statistics provided by the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza as well as his resistance to a comprehensive ceasefire.
“71% of Michigan Democrats support a ceasefire,” she said. “So, you can try to criticize me, but you can’t silence their voices… President Biden must listen to us and represent all of us, not just some of us.” .
Later Tuesday, the House also plans to take it up Greene’s renewed decision To convict Tlaib.
Greene changed her decision from last week, rescinding language that accused Tlaib of leading an “insurrection” during a pro-Palestinian protest on October 18. In the new decision, Greene wrote that Tlaib “incited an unlawful occupation of the U.S. Capitol complex” by protesting.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com