[Source: nytimes.com]

Another example of the United States, as an empire, fully supporting Israel in its attempted genocide against Palestinians was decided with the vote to censure Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on November 7, 2023.

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, had the courage to call out Israel for its militaristic debacle in Gaza, as well as the West Bank, and was branded an “anti-Semite” by a majority in the House of Representatives, both Republicans and Democrats. The vote was 234 for censure and 192 against it; four Republicans voted against censure (with one voting “present”) while 22 Democrats voted for it (with three voting “present”).

The hypocrisy of most Republicans was especially outrageous, considering the inflammatory remarks made by those among them regarding the latest actions in the Israel-Palestine conflict. They came across as fascists, or more directly put, the equivalent of Nazis. They portrayed Palestinians in an ugly manner. The bottom line? These Republicans see the Palestinians as inferior, just like some Israeli politicians do. 

Before going into the details about who these Republicans are, a definition of the word “censure” is needed. Writing in USA Today, journalist Kinsey Crowley provided the following definition: 

“A censure is considered a severe public rebuke of a legislator brought by other members of Congress, a form of punishment second only to expulsion….The U.S. Constitution allows for Congress to ‘punish it’s [sic] members for disorderly behavior.’ Censure is a formal disapproval intended to discipline members of the [H]ouse. The censure is written in the form of a resolution that the [H]ouse votes on. To pass a censure means that a majority of the members support the criticism in the resolution.” Crowley goes on to write that the person who is censured “must stand in the well of the House as the resolution is read aloud, ‘as a form of public rebuke.’”

Crowley provided a copy of the resolution, which included the statement, “Censuring Representative Rashida Tlaib for promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

In fact, Rep. Tlaib did not call for the destruction of Israel and did not promote false narratives. The Republicans are lying again. But that is second nature to them.

Rashida Tlaib’s office in the Capitol. Back home, she represents large Muslim and Jewish communities.
[Source: nytimes.com]

During the debate on whether to carry the motion to censure Tlaib, she gave a speech that defies Republican accusations. These are examples of Tlaib’s words based on a transcript published in The Congressional Record.

“I’m the only Palestinian American serving in Congress, Mr. Chair, and my perspective is needed here now more than ever. I will not be silenced, and I will not let you distort my words.

“Trying to bully or censure me won’t work because this movement for a ceasefire is much bigger than one person. It’s growing every single day.

“There are millions of people across our country who oppose Netanyahu’s extremism and are done watching our government support collective punishment and the use of white phosphorous bombs that melt flesh to the bone.

“They are done watching our government supporting cutting off food, water, electricity, and medical care to millions of people with nowhere to go. Like me, they don’t believe the answer to war crimes is more war crimes.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings like everyone else. Speaking up to save lives, no matter faith, no matter ethnicity, should not be controversial in this chamber. The cries of Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of the Palestinians sound different to you all.

“We cannot lose our shared humanity. I hear the voices of advocates in Israel, in Palestine, across America, and around the world for peace. I am inspired by the courageous survivors in Israel, who have lost loved ones, yet are calling for a ceasefire and an end to violence.

“I am grateful to the people in the streets for the peace movement, with countless Jewish Americans across the country standing up and lovingly saying, ‘Not in our name.’ We will continue to call for a ceasefire for the immediate delivery of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza, for the release of all the hostages, and those arbitrarily detained, and for every American to come home.

“We will continue to work for a real, lasting peace that upholds the human rights and dignity of all people and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. 71% of Michigan Democrats support a ceasefire. So, you can try to censure me, but you can’t silence their voices. 

“President Biden must listen to and represent all of us, not just some of us. I urge the president to have the courage to call for a ceasefire and the end of the killings.”

Tlaib speaks into a microphone.
Rashida Tlaib [Source: vox.com]

Thus, Rashida Tlaib never called for the destruction of Israel and did not express false narratives. She brought out inconvenient truths.

For good measure, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) made a fiery speech against censure:

“It is glaring hypocrisy when you have Republicans on the other side of the aisle trying to create definitions and say Rashida wants to annihilate people when [Rep.] Max Miller [R-OH] himself went on TV and said we are turning Gaza into a parking lot and we want to annihilate Palestinians. Nobody condemned him . . .”

Miller actually said the Palestinian territory, i.e., Gaza, is “about to probably get eviscerated and go away here shortly as we’re going to turn that into a parking lot,” in a recent interview with Fox “News.”

Omar continued: “Nobody condemned him on that side of the aisle. What is true here is that every single [Republican] has not acknowledged the fact that Palestinians are dying in the tens of thousands but will continue to say it is us who are not acknowledging humanity.

“Rashida will stand strong, and the Palestinian movement will continue for liberation until every single Palestinian has the right to live in liberty.”

Marsha Blackburn [Source: wikipedia.org]

Miller was joined by other Republicans in making vicious remarks. Secular Talk gave details of what they said. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) claimed publicly meanwhile (as a Senator she was not part of the House censure) that Tlaib called for the genocide of the Jews, and that she allegedly has ties to Hamas. These outlandish claims fall by the wayside when reading Tlaib’s own speech.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) showed his moral bankruptcy when he said every Palestinian is a Nazi and should be treated as such. Mast, in a ridiculous PR stunt, wore the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Congress. 

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) in IDF uniform. [Source: dailykos.com]

Then there is Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has a fascist temperament, making the cruel remark that “We should level Gaza.”

U.S. politicians also condemned the slogan of the pro-Palestinian protesters, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Hardline Israel supporters interpret that as a call for genocide against Jews. But it is the wrong interpretation. Israel’s Charter has a very similar slogan: “between the sea and the river Jordan,” there is the demand for Israeli sovereignty; in particular, Netanyahu’s far-right Likud Party has a platform with that in mind.

The racist and cruel remarks by Republicans in the U.S. were bad enough. But there were also the remarks of Israeli leaders and officials who were more direct in their racism and cruelty. The following are some examples from the Palestine Advocacy Project:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the approach of violence against Palestinians when he said “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable.”

A person speaking into a microphone

Description automatically generated
Benjamin Netanyahu is no friend of the Palestinians. [Source: thelondoneconomic.com]

In 2013, Israel’s then-Deputy Defense Minister, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, remarked that Palestinians “are beasts, they are not human.”

In 2015, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, referring to Israel’s Arab minority, said, “Those who are against us, there’s nothing to be done—we need to pick up an axe and cut off his head.”

In 2018, Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev admitted she was “happy to be a fascist.” It sounds like this is an example of the far-right revealing its true colors.

In 2014, future Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said this about Palestinians: “They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Back to Netanyahu, who said in 2016: “We must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.”

In 2002, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, “The Palestinian threat harbors cancer-like attributes that have to be severed. Some say it’s necessary to amputate organs but at the moment I am applying chemotherapy.”

And in 2012, Eli Yishai, while serving as Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, urged the Israeli army to “Send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

So, we have Republican and Israeli officials clamoring for a campaign of attempted genocide against Palestinians. Israel’s version of the Final Solution. Should they be called Nazis? If not, fascists are an appropriate name. But Israel’s barbaric objectives are characterized by myths of ultra-nationalism, supremacy and racism, as well as religious fanaticism. The first three characteristics appear to be imitating a Nazi-like agenda. The religious fanaticism is simply an outdated belief of about 2,000 years ago. 

There is a double irony to this situation. The first, above, is no better than the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. Israel’s ongoing attacks are decimating the Palestinians as a group. The second irony is that Israeli officials have called Palestinians “Nazis.” This absurd insult does not fit the Israel-Palestine situation. Palestinians do not see their color, language or culture as proof of them being superior. If comparing the Israeli right wing with Palestinians, it is the former that bears resemblance to the Nazis.

Rashida Tlaib mentioned in her speech that there are many Jews protesting against Israel’s war crimes. Yes, Jews have come out in large numbers using the slogan, “not in our name” as they protest. For example, about 1,000 protesters included many Jews at Grand Central Station in New York. The protest was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace. Also included was a march in Manhattan and a march to the Statue of Liberty.

Activists from Jewish Voice for Peace occupy the Statue of Liberty
Members of Jewish Voice for Peace protest Gaza War near Statue of Liberty. [Source: aljazeera.com]

There have been many Jews, Palestinians and others protesting worldwide demanding a cease-fire. According to Al Jazeera, “Pro-Palestine demonstrations took place in various cities including Washington, D.C.; London; Paris; Berlin; and Milan. In Turkey, a convoy of Palestine supporters headed to a U.S. military base in the south of the country for a protest to coincide with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival to the country.

“Large crowds held sit-down protests in London blocking Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus before marching to and gathering in Trafalgar Square. Protesters held ‘Freedom for Palestine’ placards and chanted ‘ceasefire now’ and ‘in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians.’ London’s Metropolitan Police estimated that around 300,000 attended the rally.”

Echoing Washington's stance, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government has stopped short of calling for a ceasefire. [JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP]
Protest in London. [Source: aljazeera.com]

In Paris, a demonstration was allowed after being illegal in the aftermath of the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas in Israel. Protestors showed France’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and support for a just peace. They added that it should be a peace for both an Israeli state and a Palestinian state. Protesters called Israel an assassin.

Germany, another country that banned Palestinian rallies, allowed a demonstration of about 6,500 people in Berlin. “People carrying Palestinian flags and placards reading ‘Stop the genocide in Gaza’ and ‘From the river to the sea – we demand equality’ gathered on Alexanderplatz, a major square in the center of the city.

“Some 4,000 protesters marched through the streets of Milan in support of a ceasefire. The demonstration called ‘Stop war, no racism’ took place just as in a nearby square, the far-right League party held a rally ‘in defense of the West.’” The League party of course would be supporting the West, and in turn, European colonialism/imperialism.

In Washington, D.C., tens of thousands of protesters gathered in support of Palestinians, demand a ceasefire, and to halt the military aggression in Gaza.

A group of people holding signs and flags Description automatically generated
Rally outside White House for Palestinian rights. [Source: npr.org]

Associated Press put out an article about protests, notably in the Muslim world:

“Protests erupted in the main cities of the occupied West Bank on Friday following midday prayers. Palestinians streamed out of mosques and headed to Israeli military checkpoints in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, where they threw stones at troops and burned tires. Israeli security forces responded firing tear gas and live rounds.

“Thousands of Egyptians demonstrated in cities and towns across the North African country, in an expression of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

“Dozens of supporters of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group and others protested in a southern Beirut suburb calling for the lifting of the blockade of Gaza and to support Palestinians there.

“In Turkey, where the government has declared three days of mourning in solidarity with the victims of a blast at a Gaza hospital, thousands of people staged protests outside mosques following Friday prayers in Istanbul and in the capital, Ankara.”

Rashida Tlaib, thus, has the solidarity of people worldwide in protesting against Israel’s attempted genocide. Censuring her is a political inquisition lead by Republicans, with some Democrats supporting it. But no matter what, Tlaib, and many others, won’t give up.

CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

Click the whistle and donate

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.

About the Author


Leave a Reply