Netanyahu hails censure of Rashida Tlaib

The Israeli prime minister said Democratic lawmaker was calling for ‘elimination of the Jewish state’

Michelle Del Rey
Friday 10 November 2023 19:24 EST

Rep Rashida Tlaib chokes up condemning resolution to censure her

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for the censorship of Democratic US Representative Rashida Tlaib in a Fox News interview.

“I salute the Congress for censoring her,” the official told the network’s Bret Bair, asserting that Ms Tlaib was calling for “policide” and “genocide”, including the“elimination of the Jewish state”.

On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives voted 234 - 188 to censure Ms Tlaib, the country’s first Palestinian-American member of Congress, over language some considered to be antisemitic, including the use of the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which Ms Tlaib said in a social media post.

The chant refers to the stretch of land spanning from the border of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, where Israel is located. Mr Netanyahu argued that the phrase advocates for the dismantling of his country.

It “means there’s no Israel,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as the US Secretary of State gives statements to the media inside The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Defence Ministry, after their meeting in Tel Aviv on October 12, 2023.

Previously, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and state Senator Jeremy Moss asked the Michigan Congresswoman to refrain from using language that might incite violence and fuel hate crimes.

A censure is not the same as expulsion. According to the US House of Representatives, it’s considered to be a “deep disapproval of member misconduct”. To censure a member, the House only needs a majority of members to pass a vote.

Responding to the criticism, Ms Tlaib said the phrase is “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence,” in a written statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “Not death, destruction, or hate.

Rashida Tlaib chokes up condemning resolution to censure her over Israel comments

“My work and advocacy is always centred in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”

More than 10,000 Palestinians have died since the war began last month. Hamas, a terrorist organisation operating in Palestine, launched a series of violent surprise attacks against Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 individuals, mostly civilians.

After the assaults, Mr Netanyahu declared war against Palestine, which has mostly been concentrated in the Gaza Strip.

While human rights organisations, politicians, and demonstrators across the world have called for a ceasefire, Mr Netanyahu reiterated that his country would not be backing down from the fight.

“We’re going to continue until we eradicate Hamas,” he said.

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