US House rejects effort to censure Rashida Tlaib over Israel criticism

AP , Thursday 2 Nov 2023

The US House of Representatives rejected Wednesday an effort to censure Democratic Rashida Tlaib, scrapping a Republican attempt to condemn the only Palestinian-American in Congress over her recent rhetoric around the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

Rashida Tlaib, AP


A measure to move forward with a censure resolution of Tlaib, a punishment one step below expulsion from the House, was dismissed with broad support as both parties raised concerns about violating First Amendment rights.

A Democratic effort to in turn censure Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had sponsored the Tlaib resolution, was called off in response.

Greene introduced a censure resolution last week against Tlaib, one of two Muslims in Congress. The resolution accuses Tlaib of “antisemitic activity” after she voiced concern over the US' continued role in supplying arms to Israel in its war on Gaza.

Greene also falsely accused Tlaib of “leading an insurrection” in the Capitol complex when she participated in a pro-Gaza rally organized by Jewish advocacy groups last month.

Tlaib called Greene’s resolution “unhinged” and said it’s “deeply Islamophobic and attacks peaceful Jewish anti-war advocates.”

In response to Greene’s resolution, House Democrats, led by Becca Balint, introduced a resolution censuring Greene for what they called her record of “racist rhetoric and conspiracy theories.”

Balint said Greene’s resolution to censure Tlaib “is an overt Islamophobic attack on the only Palestinian-American member of Congress.”

Greene has not commented on the resolution to censure her, but criticised the dozens of Republicans who voted against moving the Tlaib measure forward.

If the resolutions had passed, Greene and Tlaib would have joined a small but growing group of lawmakers who have been censured in the last 20 years.

The US House in recent years has also sought to punish members for their words and actions by removing them from their respective committee assignments.

Earlier this year, the House stripped Democratic Ilhan Omar, who’s the other Muslim member of Congress, from her committee assignment on Foreign Affairs for her rhetoric about Israel.

And in 2021, Democrats in the majority punished Greene, holding a vote that stripped her of all of her committee assignments for spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories. 

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