Of all of the incorrect responses to the present Center East disaster, demanding that the one Palestinian American in Congress be convicted for criticizing Israel is likely one of the most cynical.
Inevitably, the battle between Israel and Hamas has uncovered deep rifts amongst Democrats – between outspoken supporters of Israel and its strikes to crush Hamas, and people calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and an finish to Israel’s trampling on Palestinian rights.
However Republican efforts to oust or censure Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her outspoken pro-Palestinian positions are nothing greater than a cynical try to steal the highlight and exploit Democratic divisions for political functions .
Sure, it’s true that Tlaib has used the phrase “genocide” to explain what is occurring in Gaza. She was one in all 9 Democrats who voted in opposition to a Home decision expressing help for Israel and condemning Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault. Like many others she additionally believed in the story that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza, which is now extensively disputed. However so did many mainstream media. Ought to she have apologized? Possibly, however her protection made sense.
“Each the Israeli and US governments have an extended, documented historical past of deceptive the general public about wars and battle crimes – reminiscent of final yr’s Israeli army assassination of [journalist] Shireen Abu Akleh and the false claims about weapons of mass destruction that led our nation into the battle in Iraq,” she stated, including: “This debate mustn’t distract us from the pressing want for a ceasefire to avoid wasting harmless civilian lives to avoid wasting.”
On October 18, Tlaib spoke at an anti-war protest organized by two left-wing Jewish teams, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. Standing in entrance of a giant banner painted with the phrase “ceasefire,” an emotional Tlaib advocated peace and condemned the battle. She spoke about two victims: Maya Regev, a 21-year-old Israeli who was allegedly taken hostage by Hamas on the music pageant, and Shaima Akram Saidam, the highest scorer within the 2023 Palestinian highschool exams, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp within the Gaza Strip.
“They’re each victims,” Tlaib stated, his voice breaking. “They’re victims of the suppression of violence. They each need to reside. I do not care what their faith is or what their ethnicity is.”
Later that day, simply over 300 protesters had been arrested after getting into a congressional workplace on Capitol Hill to proceed their demonstration in opposition to the battle. Three had been charged with assaulting police, though this was not a violent occasion by any means. Video exhibits a lot of the protesters, sporting black T-shirts with the slogan “Not in our identify,” sitting in concentric circles or standing with arms linked as they chant, “Awake-fire now!”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who supported overturning the outcomes of a free and truthful U.S. presidential election, accused Tlaib of participating in “anti-American actions.” In a Letter dated October 30 To her Republican colleagues who urged them to censure Tlaib, Greene wrote: “She has advocated pro-Hamas riots throughout the nation, placing American Jews in worry for his or her lives, and signaling to Israel that America doesn’t help them of their combat in opposition to evil. ”
Tlaib, so far as I do know, sadly did that not has singled out Hamas for criticism. As a substitute, she condemned the violence and known as for a ceasefire. However nobody, least of all a Palestinian-American elected consultant with deeply held views on Israel’s remedy of Palestinians, ought to be punished for not falling consistent with the institution’s imaginative and prescient.
Certainly one of Greene’s colleagues, ethics-challenged Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, was snarky in regards to the pro-Palestinian Capitol rally, however at the least give him credit score for rejecting the First Modification: “The irony is that the US Structure protects the liberty of those demonstrators. be absolute idiots,” he posted on X.
Greene, alternatively, appears to have misplaced contact with actuality, and never for the primary time. In her letter to colleagues, she alleged that Tlaib had “incited a pro-Hamas rebellion throughout the Capitol advanced” and known as for “violent terrorist revolt throughout the Capitol advanced.”
“We count on our elected officers to conduct themselves in a way that displays the dignity of their workplace and sustains the belief of the American individuals,” wrote Greene, who as soon as verbally known as her colleague Lauren Boebert a “little bitch” within the Home of Representatives. Delegates talked about. David Hogg, the Parkland capturing survivor, posted an anti-transgender signal outdoors her workplace throughout the corridor, the place a lawmaker stood with a transgender baby, and shouted “Liar!” at President Biden throughout his State of the Union tackle this yr.
Let’s additionally not overlook her embrace of the anti-Semitic “Nice Substitute Idea,” or her loopy declare that wealthy Jews are utilizing area lasers to start out forest fires within the US and Israel.
“The extent to which some individuals solely faux to care about anti-Semitism after they can weaponize it continues to amaze,” CNN’s Jake Tapper stated Sunday throughout a searing commentary on Greene’s censure decision.
For her half, Tlaib known as Greene’s decision “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic.”
“I’m proud to face in solidarity with Jewish peace activists who’re calling for a ceasefire and an finish to violence,” Tlaib wrote in an announcement from her workplace. “I cannot be bullied, I cannot be dehumanized, and I cannot be silenced.”
Our Republican-led Home of Representatives, awash in chaos and dysfunction of its personal making, has much better and extra essential issues to do than punish Tlaib for voicing her opinions. Particularly when she is motivated by age-old ideas, and she or he by political theater.