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U.S. House turns aside attempt to censure Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks

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U.S. House turns aside attempt to censure Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks

Nov 01, 2023 | 8:53 pm ET
By Ashley Murray
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U.S. House turns aside attempt to censure Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks
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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., arrives for a classified closed-door briefing about Hamas’ attack on Israel in the Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium on Oct. 11, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to quash an effort to censure Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib after Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene accused her of “antisemitic activity.”

The motion to table the resolution, introduced by Greene on Oct. 24, succeeded in a 222-186 vote Wednesday night.

The Georgia Republican falsely accused Tlaib of “leading an insurrection” when hundreds of protesters sang and chanted in a U.S. House office building on Oct. 18, advocating for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas, long designated a terrorist group by the U.S., launched a brutal surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, initially killing roughly 1,400. Authorities in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory seized by Hamas in 2007, estimate more than 8,700 deaths since Israeli counterstrikes began.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American and one of a handful of Muslims in Congress, spoke at an Oct. 18 demonstration outside of the Capitol. Protesters from the group Jewish Voice for Peace who rallied inside the Cannon House Office Building were arrested and led to an exit in an orderly single-file line.

The Michigan Democrat has long voiced concern over Israeli-Palestinian relations and has escalated those concerns to include U.S. security assistance to Israel as the civilian death toll grows in the Gaza Strip.

She voted against a House resolution on Oct. 25 expressing solidarity with Israel and instead championed a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

Greene said Wednesday night that GOP House members who didn’t vote to censure Tlaib are “feckless.”

U.S. House turns aside attempt to censure Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib over Israel remarks
Thomas Massie

The 23 Republicans who joined Democrats to table the motion against Tlaib included Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Ken Buck of Colorado, John Duarte of California, Chuck Edwards of North Carolina, Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, Bill Huizenga of Michigan, Darrell Issa of California, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Doug LaMalfa of California, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Tom McClintock of California, Richard McCormick of Georgia, Max Miller of Ohio, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, John Moolenaar of Michigan, Austin Scott of Georgia, Chip Roy of Texas, Victoria Spartz of Indiana, Mike Turner of Ohio, Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin and Tim Walberg of Michigan.

“This is why Republicans NEVER do anything to stop the communists Democrats or ever hold anyone accountable!! PATHETIC,” Greene posted on X.

Twenty-four members did not vote, 13 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

Greene had been pushing for support all week, and wrote in a letter to colleagues Monday that Tlaib “must be held to account.”

Greene also admonished Tlaib for publicly blaming Israeli forces for a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital on Oct. 17. Israel’s military immediately denied the claim, and U.S. intelligence officials said the attack appeared to be a misfired rocket from within the Gaza Strip. Tlaib’s post on X about the explosion is no longer on her feed.

Tlaib called Greene’s censure effort “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic.”

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with Jewish peace advocates calling for a ceasefire and an end to the violence,” she said in a statement posted to X.

“I will not be bullied, I will not be dehumanized, and I will not be silenced. I will continue to call for a ceasefire, for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, for the release of the hostages and those arbitrarily detained and for every American to be brought home,” she wrote.

Greene’s effort to censure Tlaib sparked a retaliatory move from Democrats when Rep. Becca Balint of Vermont re-introduced her own resolution to censure Greene, accusing her of fanning “the flames of racism, antisemitism, LGBTQ hate speech, Islamophobia, anti-Asian hate, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred.”

Balint’s censure proposal against Greene recounts comments made by the Georgia Republican dating back to 2018 about 9/11, mass shootings and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, among other topics.

Greene is known for incendiary and extreme rhetoric. On Oct. 26 she called Tlaib a “Jihad squad member,” referring to the “squad” nickname for a group of progressive House members.

A motion to table Balint’s resolution did not reach the floor Wednesday night.

“I’m celebrating the fact that the truth prevailed about my friend and colleague Rep. Rashida Tlaib,” Balint said in a statement after the vote. “We couldn’t let one of our own be censured for something that is completely fabricated and racist. I was surprised — when on the floor — several Republicans voted with us to table the hateful and untruthful censure resolution that Rep. Greene brought against Rep. Tlaib.”