In a 234-188 vote on Tuesday night, the House of Representatives passed a GOP-led measure to officially reprimand Representative Rashida Tlaib. The move came after Rep. Rich McCormick, a Republican from Georgia, introduced the censure, alleging that Tlaib had spread what he referred to as “false narratives” about the Hamas attack on Israel and had advocated for the “destruction of the state of Israel.”
This resolution is a more targeted effort following a failed attempt last week to censure Tlaib. McCormick’s motion highlighted Tlaib’s use of the phrase “From the river to the sea” in a social media video, a slogan commonly associated with Palestinian liberation. Critics of Tlaib argue that the phrase implies the destruction of Israel as a state, a sentiment that has also been co-opted by the militant group Hamas.
Despite bipartisan criticism, Tlaib defended herself earlier on Tuesday, stating, “The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent.” Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government and has consistently called for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
While censures are typically read aloud to the concerned lawmaker on the House floor, the passed measure on Tuesday did not include this provision. Notably, four Republicans voted against the censure, while 22 Democrats supported it, resulting in a final tally of 234-188, with four lawmakers voting present.
This action is the latest development in an ongoing series of House censures. Last week, a similar motion to reprimand Tlaib was defeated after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene initiated the effort. Nearly twenty Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting that measure, which likened a pro-Palestinian protest at the Capitol to an “insurrection.” In response, Democrats proposed a censure against Greene, but this was withdrawn before a vote. Greene later reintroduced her measure, without the language surrounding “insurrection,” but retracted it when the House addressed the McCormick-led resolution.
Tlaib, representing a Michigan district with a substantial Arab American population, is the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress. The ongoing debate surrounding her criticism of Israel and the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to spark discussions and political action within the House of Representatives.