‘I stand with Rashida’: supporters rally around Tlaib after Congress censure | Rashida Tlaib

Supporters of Rashida Tlaib are donating to and speaking out in defense of the progressive Democratic congresswoman following her censure from Congress.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in the US Congress, was censured on Tuesday over her criticism of Israel’s attacks in Gaza.

In a 234 to 188 vote, 22 Democrats joined Republicans to pass a resolution punishing Tlaib for allegedly “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel” and “promoting false narratives” about the 7 October attack on Israel.

Tlaib has long criticized Joe Biden’s support of Israel, but received intense backlash after her defense of the slogan “from the river to the sea”.

In a social media post on Friday, Tlaib defended the phrase as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate”.

The full slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, references the land that sits between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. While many recognize the slogan as a call for Palestinian liberation, others argue that the term has been used to call for the destruction of Israel and the persecution of Jewish people.

Many supporters of Tlaib posted their thoughts to social media.

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of the blog MuslimGirl.com, thanked Tlaib for her service and called out Congress for failing to pass a ceasefire.

“Thank you for becoming the lesson for future generations – for solidifying the hypocrisy of this moment, when our Congress refused to vote for a ceasefire but instead to censure the ONLY Palestinian rep we have,” wrote Al-Khatahtbeh on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Peter Beinart, a professor at the Newmark School of Journalism and editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, posted a message of support for Tlaib, adding that the congresswoman “exposes as a sham [other Democrats’] claim to defend human rights”.

“She reminds them that their lack of courage is a choice,” Beinart said in a post to X.

Others called for donations to Tlaib’s re-election campaign.

Progressive legislators and groups have also rallied to demonstrate their support of Tlaib. The Missouri representative Cori Bush, who has also faced backlash for criticizing Israel, posted a message of support to X before Tuesday’s censure vote.

“I stand with Rashida,” Bush said.

The Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar called out the lack of discipline for Republican lawmakers who have publicly called for Gaza to be turned into a “parking lot”.

“Where is the condemnation for that?? Where is the condemnation of the 10,000+ Palestinians dying?” wrote Omar on X.

“We will continue to stand for the dignity and humanity of ALL in the face of inhumanity,” she said.

Representative Alexandrio Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X that it was “not lost on anyone how many offensive, violent, and racist things people regularly hear members of Congress say, yet virtually the only one that gets censured for her political speech also happens to be the only Palestinian American. It does not reflect well. At all.”

Usamah Andrabi, spokesperson for the progressive Pac Justice Democrats called Tlaib’s censure “shameful” and “unmistakably racist” in a statement to the Guardian.

“It is utterly shameful and disgusting that we saw 22 Democrats who have seen 10,000 Palestinians getting murdered with bombs they voted to fund – and they couldn’t even stand with the single Palestinian woman in Congress when Republicans attacked her,” he said.

“It is clear that the only thing they’re full of is a bloodlust for genocide and ethnic cleansing,” he added. “Every single one of these Democrats’ names should be remembered for their cowardice.”

Such support has been tempered by hostility from Republicans and Democrats who voted to censure Tlaib, who has served in the US House since 2019.

The Tennessee representative Marsha Blackburn replied to a statement from Tlaib via X.

“As the only Palestinian American in Congress, you should want freedom for Palestinians, which starts with eradicating Hamas,” Blackburn said, in part.

The Democratic representative Brad Schneider accused Tlaib of “inflammatory language that dangerously amplifies Hamas propaganda”, in a statement about his support of the censure.

“I recognize this censure resolution is not a perfect resolution in its language or form, but unfortunately it is the only vehicle available to formally rebuke the dangerous disinformation and aspersions that Rep Tlaib continues to use and defend,” he said in a statement via X.

Tlaib’s censure comes as more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, the territory’s health ministry said on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Israel has launched a series of airstrikes on the territory, including on Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp. The UN human rights office has warned the attack “could amount to war crimes”.

Israel attacked Gaza after Hamas fighters crossed into Israel from the territory and killed 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostages. Casualties on both sides have been mostly civilians.

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