The House Refuses To Be “Gaslighted”

It’s never been clear to me what “censure” accomplishes. Sure, it’s a condemnation, like telling a wayward child that what they did was wrong and he should feel ashamed of himself. But he still gets dinner, gets to go out and play, gets to otherwise go about his life as if nothing happened. So the House censured the Representative of Palestine, Rashida Tlaib, for trying to spin her support of terrorists.

Does anyone expect she’ll change her evil ways, or wear her censure with pride, like the Keffiyeh she wore on the House floor when she denied the meaning of the terrorist slogan “from the river to the sea”?

Ms. Tlaib has said the slogan, which was used by pro-Palestinian protesters featured in a video she posted accusing President Biden of supporting genocide in Gaza, is “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction or hate.”

The slogan has always meant the eradication of Israel so Palestinians will occupy all the land “from the river to the sea.” Tlaib’s spin was laughably nonsensical, and despite her best effort to “reimagine” it to pretend otherwise, the only people fooled were those who desperately wanted to be fooled.

Twenty-two Democrats joined most Republicans to pass the resolution, which accuses Ms. Tlaib of “promoting false narratives” surrounding Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and of “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” The vote was 234 to 188. Four Republicans voted against censuring Ms. Tlaib, while one Democrat and three Republicans voted “present,” declining to take a position.

That 22 Dems broke ranks is a rather stunning fact, not only because of the division it reflected in the party but because House members are very reluctant to censure a member, as it’s the sort of thing that can be wielded promiscuously and come back to haunt them. They had to be deeply outraged to vote to censure Tlaib. And Tlaib gave them damn good reason to be outraged.

Whereas Representative Rashida Tlaib, within 24 hours of the October 7 barbaric attack on Jewish citizens of the State of Israel, representing the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, defended the brutal rapes, murders, be-headings, and kidnapping – including of Americans – by Hamas as justified ‘‘resistance’’ to the ‘‘apartheid state”;

Whereas on October 18, 2023, Representative Tlaib continued to knowingly spread the false narrative that Israel intentionally bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17 after United  States intelligence, Israeli intelligence, and President Biden assessed with high confidence that  Israel did not cause the explosion;

Whereas on November 3, 2023, Representative Tlaib published on social media a video containing the phrase ‘‘from the river to the sea’’, which is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea;

And if that wasn’t enough, then came the gaslighting.

Whereas Representative Tlaib doubled down on this call to violence by falsely describing ‘‘from the river to the sea’’ as ‘‘an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence’’ despite it clearly entailing Israel’s destruction and denial of its fundamental right to exist;

Who would support an elected member of the House of Representatives who would support the eradication of America’s only ally in the middle east?

After the gavel fell, Democratic lawmakers, mostly progressives, surrounded Ms. Tlaib on the floor and embraced her.

It’s one thing for foolish children to be taken in by simplistic calls for peace that either deny the terrorism of October 7th or just don’t care since babies of the oppressors deserve to be murdered and young women of oppressors deserve to be raped because what else are  the oppressed supposed to do? It’s another for a person who gets to vote on American law to support the terrorists and the destruction of our ally.

The debate pitted mainstream Democrats against the most progressive lawmakers in the House, many of them women of color who surrounded Ms. Tlaib on the floor as the censure was considered. Representative Ayanna S. Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts, defended Ms. Tlaib and called the resolution “blatantly Islamophobic, anti-democratic and an utter waste of time.” Ms. Pressley, who is Black, argued that the measure was brought by Republicans “obsessed with policing progressive women of color.”

The Squad’s gonna squad. But the House leader of the Dems, Hakeem Jeffries, is not a member of the Squad.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement before the vote that echoing “slogans that are widely understood as calling for the complete destruction of Israel — such as ‘from the river to the sea’ — does not advance progress toward a two-state solution. Instead, it unacceptably risks further polarization, division and incitement to violence.”

Being censured won’t cost Tlaib her seat. Indeed, it may make her the hero of the progressive movement and assure her re-election, emboldening her to speak ever more clearly for the rights of the oppressed to rape and murder as long as they only rape and murder the right people. And she will have her people around her, like Pressley and Ilhan Omar, to assure her that she’s on the right side of history siding with terrorism. After all don’t terrorists deserve representation in the United States House of Representatives?

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