House Votes to Censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib ‘for Calling for the Destruction of Israel’

The House of Representatives voted late Tuesday to censure Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib over anti-Israel remarks she has made since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

The vote was 234-to-188 with 22 Democrats joining Republicans to formally rebuke the Palestinian-American lawmaker from Michigan.

The resolution said Tlaib was “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

She has defended the controversial Hamas chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” which is used by anti-Israel protesters to call for annihilating the Jewish nation.

On X, formerly Twitter, Tlaib claimed, “From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.”

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In a video posted to the social media platform, she warned President Biden that people will remember his support for “the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

Speaking in her defense, Tlaib told House members that as the only Palestinian-American in Congress, her perspective is needed.

“It is important to separate people and governments,” Tlaib said. “No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is anti-Semitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation.”

As CBN News has reported, Tlaib took to X just days after Hamas’ barbaric attack on innocent civilians and blamed Israel for the terrorist invasion.

“I grieve the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today, and every day,” she wrote.

“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,” Tlaib said. “The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer. No person, no child anywhere should have to suffer or live in fear of violence.”

This is not the first time Tlaib has faced censure.

Last week, Democrats sided with her to help defeat the first censure resolution. 

But since then, many of her colleagues, including prominent Jewish members, said they have become more conflicted about her rhetoric about the war, especially because the slogan she has used frequently is widely seen as calling for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), who is Jewish, voted with Republicans and said it was important to debate the controversial phrase. 

“It is nothing else but the call for the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews,” he said. “I will always defend the right to free speech. Tlaib has the right to say whatever she wants.”

“But it cannot go unanswered,” he added. 

Censure is a punishment just one step below expulsion from the House.

Tlaib is the second person to be censured this year. In February, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for similar comments she made about Israel.