Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Rep. Rashida Tlaib takes part in a Jewish-led protest outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on October 18, 2023.

(Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Tlaib Rips Colleagues Who Are 'More Focused on Silencing Me Than They Are on Saving Lives'

"Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply do not matter to them, but I still do not police their rhetoric or actions," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

Facing another Republican-authored censure resolution, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Monday accused some of her House colleagues of spending more time attempting to silence her, the lone Palestinian-American in Congress, than working to stop the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

"It's a shame my colleagues are more focused on silencing me than they are on saving lives, as the death toll in Gaza surpasses 10,000," said Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. "Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply do not matter to them, but I still do not police their rhetoric or actions."

"Rather than acknowledge the voice and perspective of the only Palestinian American in Congress, my colleagues have resorted to distorting my positions in resolutions filled with obvious lies," Tlaib continued. "I have repeatedly denounced the horrific targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and the Israeli government, and have mourned the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost."

Tlaib's statement came ahead of an expected vote Tuesday on a censure resolution introduced earlier this week by Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.). The measure falsely accuses Tlaib of characterizing the October 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel as "justified" resistance.

Tlaib has been a target of right-wing outrage since her arrival to Congress in 2019, but the attacks from Republicans—and some members of her own party—have intensified since Hamas' deadly assault. The Michigan Democrat responded to the attack and Israel's subsequent bombing campaign in Gaza by mourning both Israeli and Palestinian lives and calling for an end to Israel's apartheid system, which she said "creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance."

Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled House voted to table a resolution led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that accused Tlaib of "antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol complex," a reference to the Michigan Democrat's appearance at a recent Jewish-led protest in Washington, D.C.

Some of the Republicans who voted with Democrats to table Greene's resolution objected to the language likening the protest to an insurrection. On Monday, Greene introduced a revised resolution that instead describes the peaceful Capitol Hill protest as an "illegal occupation."

McCormick's censure resolution does not include such language.

Top House Democrats said Tuesday that they intend to continue voting against efforts to censure Tlaib, who is also facing attack ads from Democratic Majority for Israel, an AIPAC-aligned group that has spent big targeting progressives in recent elections.

In her statement Monday, Tlaib said that while members of Congress debate whether to censure her, "each day that passes without a cease-fire brings more death and destruction upon innocent civilians, who have nowhere safe to go, drawing outrage and condemnation from the American people and the international community."

"A majority of Americans support a cease-fire, but this Congress isn't listening to their voices," said Tlaib. "I will continue to call for a mutual cease-fire, for the release of hostages and those arbitrarily detained, for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, and for every American to be brought home."

"I will continue to work for a just and lasting peace that upholds the human rights and dignity of all people, centers peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, and ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence," she added.

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