Republican leaders have scheduled separate votes Tuesday on two resolutions to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her harsh condemnation of Israel’s response to the terror attacks on their people and for inciting violence against Israelis.
House Democrats will fiercely defend the radical, pro-Hamas Rep. Tlaib. Democrat leadership wants members to vote against the resolution based on her First Amendment rights.
Democrats, including Jewish lawmakers, think it’s a dangerous precedent.
“To my mind, this is easy,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said. “I’m a professor of constitutional law. This is all about the freedom of speech and the speech and debate clause.”
That doesn’t apply to Republicans. He’s the one who said Donald Trump and his supporters are fascists for disagreeing with him.
Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.), senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said:
“Freedom of speech is a part of our democracy,” Meeks said. “Not that I have to agree with the speech, but the freedom to say what you want is fundamental to America; it makes us different from others.
“People should have the freedom to say what they want; and I’ll have the freedom to say whether I agree or disagree,” he continued. “But I don’t think anybody should be censured for what they say.”
Still, several Jewish Democrats — including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Brad Schneider (Ill.) — said they are still weighing their votes.
“People have a right to express opinions,” Schneider said. [But] “river to the sea” is a statement embraced by Hamas, who call for the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of Jews. And this body needs to make [clear] that’s not acceptable rhetoric — not just when members of Congress are talking, but when we’re seeing the protests in our streets.”
Over the weekend, the pro-Hamas Rep.Tlaib accused Biden of abetting the genocide of Palestinians and featuring clips of American protestors chanting “from the river to the sea.”
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rich Mc Cormick introduced resolutions to censure Tlaib. They are forcing votes on their measures.
Last week, Greene pushed a similar resolution, which 23 House Republicans rejected.
Some voted based on Tlaib’s free speech, and others said the resolution wasn’t accurate. Tlaib didn’t incite an insurrection.
Rep. Greene took insurrection out of her resolution and re-introduced it. McCormick’s is more measured but states that Tlaib called for Israel’s destruction.
“The real hallmark of the United States of America is freedom of speech, and it’s not only speech that you agree with,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a prominent Jewish lawmaker.
Leftism is more important to Rep. Schaowsky than being Jewish.
“While there were certainly people who felt hurt by [Tlaib’s comments], she is the only Palestinian in the Congress of the United States. Her grandmother lives in the West Bank. We have to have a little compassion for her personal situation and her freedom to speak out.”
Compassion for the woman who called for the destruction of Israel. That’s more than she’d give a Republican.
Not so long ago, Rep. Tlaib called for a political revolution to overturn the US government. She has called for BDS, which would destroy Israel, and she compared Israelis to Nazis.