‘Pathetic and Shameful’: Sanders Slams US House Censure of Tlaib

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The sole Palestinian American in the US Congress defended her criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza and urged lawmakers to call for a ceasefire.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a scathing post on X, progressive US Senator Bernie Sanders has decried legislators in the US House of Representatives for censuring Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for her criticism of Israel.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in the US Congress, has led calls for a ceasefire and has criticised the high civilian toll in Gaza. She has rejected claims by those who censured her that her words amounted to support for Hamas.

“The House should pass desperately needed aid for Gaza, work to stop the conflict in the Middle East, and address the pressing needs of the American people,” Sanders wrote. “Instead they voted to censure my friend @RashidaTlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress. Pathetic and shameful!”

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spoke out against Tlaib’s censure. 

“It is not lost on anyone how many offensive, violent, and racist things people regularly hear members of Congress say, yet virtually the only one that gets censured for her political speech also happens to be the only Palestinian American.

It does not reflect well. At all,” the New York Democratic representative said.

The House voted 234-188 late on Tuesday to censure Tlaib, with more than 20 Democrats joining the Republican-led effort.

The progressive Michigan congresswoman Tlaib, has defended her criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza and urged US lawmakers to join in calling for a ceasefire.

Her comments on the House floor came minutes after Democrats paved the way for an effort to censure her for her remarks, which her detractors say disparaged Israel, and included an emotional and impassioned plea for free speech and equal treatment for Palestinians.

Tlaib has been an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s staunch backing of Israel.

She has accused Joe Biden of supporting genocide in Gaza and threatened that he will lose Arab American and Muslim support in the 2024 election – triggering widespread condemnation by Republicans and many Democrats.

But Tlaib was unrepentant in her speech.

“I will not be silenced and I will not let you distort my words,” Tlaib said. “No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticising the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation.” — Agencies

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