Oct 01, 2022
Share this article

Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib is facing widespread criticism after posting a tweet on Wednesday accusing Israel of  “ethnic cleansing.”

“After racist and violent “death to Arabs” marches earlier today in Jerusalem, children in Gaza are being woken by bombs in the middle of the night,” Tlaib tweeted. “Israel’s government doesn’t value Palestinian lives. It has managed a decades-long ethnic cleansing project, funded by the U.S.”

Tlaib’s comments come after Hamas broke the ceasefire with Israel by launching a wave of incendiary balloons into Israel on Wednesday, igniting wildfires. The IDF responded by launching strikes targeting Hamas military targets.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), responded harshly to Talib’s tweet.

“We can and should have policy debates. But pushing a narrative libelously accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing or not seeing Palestinians as human – or focusing only on Israeli airstrikes without recognizing those are responses to attacks by terrorists – is wrong and dangerous,” Greenblatt wrote.

Arsen Ostrovsky, a leading international human rights lawyer, was equally harsh, tweeting, “More lies by you Rashida! The chants were vile and also condemned. Meantime, no mention by you what led to strikes on Gaza, was Hamas firing dozens of incendiary devices on southern Israel, scorching countless amount on land. Stop shilling for Hamas and inciting racial hatred!”

Stop Antisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez, in a statement to the Jewish Journal, called Tlaib’s tweet “highly irresponsible.”

“We are the first to say these horrific death chants must always be condemned. That being said, it’s highly irresponsible of a sitting U.S. Congresswoman to blindly point the finger at our closest (Middle East) ally without mentioning the reasoning behind the bombing of Gaza – the two dozen terror balloons that set the south of Israel ablaze this entire week. This type of agricultural terrorism would not be tolerated anywhere in the world and for Tlaib to hold Israel to a different standard is just pure and simple anti-Semitism.”

Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) introduced a resolution on Monday to censure and condemn Democratic Reps Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley, collectively known as ‘the Squad.” The resolution cited Tlaib’s recent tweet as well as one by Ilhan Omar in which she equated Israel and the US with Hamas and Hezbollah

“We cannot turn a blind eye to members of Congress openly defending terrorist attacks by Hamas against our close ally Israel nor their dangerous rhetoric which has contributed to anti-Semitic attacks across the country,” Waltz said in a press release.

All four Democratic congresswomen have wrongfully accused Israel of being an “apartheid state.”

The leaders of the Democratic Party have been criticized for allowing members of their party to make anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements without any consequences.

Censure is an official process for disciplining members of Congress for “disorderly behavior” or misconduct in office. This requires a majority vote. Censure carries no specific consequences, according to the Congressional Research Service, other than the embarrassment of being publicly admonished. However, censured members are sometimes barred from certain leadership positions by their party.

“Actions speak louder than squishy words,” Banks said. “Speaker Pelosi can let members vote on our resolution, or she can cover for the Hamas Caucus and their anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric. We’ll see.”