Greene Wants Tlaib Censured For ‘antisemitic activity,’ Mich. Lawmaker Calls Measure ‘unhinged’

Jon King, Michigan Advance

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) has fired back against a censure resolution introduced by Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Greene, in remarks on the House floor Thursday. accused Tlaib, among other things, of “antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol Complex.”

“Tlaib led a pro-Hamas insurrection into the Capitol complex, has repeatedly displayed her anti-Semitic beliefs, and shown her hatred for Israel,” Greene wrote on X. “She must be held accountable and censured.”

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet), who launched an unsuccessful House speaker bid, introduced a resolution censuring Tlaib “for her antisemitism and disgraceful response to the attacks on our ally, Israel.”

Tlaib released a statement Friday denouncing Greene’s resolution as “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic.”

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with Jewish peace advocates calling for a ceasefire and an end to the violence,” she said. “I will not be bullied, I will not be dehumanized, and I will not be silenced. I will continue to call for [a] ceasefire, for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, for the release of hostages and those arbitrarily detained, 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, and ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence.”

The insurrection allegation pertains to Tlaib’s attendance at a rally last week seeking a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israel declared war on Hamas after the group launched multiple attacks on Oct. 7, killing over 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians. Resulting Israeli airstrikes and other military actions are thought to have killed more than 6,000 people in Gaza.

Tlaib, the lone Palestinian-American in Congress and a frequent critic of Israel, addressed attendees of the Oct. 18 rally outside the Cannon House office building. During the speech, Tlaib repeated a claim she made on social media that Israel was to blame for bombing a hospital in Gaza and blasted President Joe Biden.

“To our president, I want him to know, as a Palestinian American who is also somebody of Muslim faith, I’m not going to forget this. And I think a lot of people are not going to forget this,” said Tlaib, “It’s like it doesn’t even matter. And that’s what’s been really painful [to] just continue to watch people think it’s OK to bomb a hospital with children.”

Some media initially blamed Israel for the explosion, based on Hamas’ claims. However, by the time the rally was held, national security assessments from the U.S. and Israel found that the bombing was in the hospital’s courtyard and was the result of a misfire by militant group Islamic Jihad. An investigation from the Associated Press since then found that Israel was not responsible.

On Monday, Tlaib called for an independent investigation of the bombing, saying she “cannot uncritically accept Israel’s denials of responsibility as fact.

“Both the Israeli and United States governments have long, documented histories of misleading the public about wars and war crimes,” Tlaib added in the statement.

During the rally, pro-Palestinian demonstrators also entered the building and protested inside, resulting in U.S. Capitol Police making several hundred arrests, including three people charged with assault on a police officer. While protesting inside the building is illegal, authorities say everyone who entered was screened through security per guidelines.

During the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection attempt, hundreds of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent members of Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost to President Joe Biden. The riot resulted in members of Congress going into hiding, significant property damage and left five dead.

Greene has been accused of helping to incite the Jan. 6 riot, and has been a staunch supporter of the more than 1,100 individuals charged in the incident, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement,

Greene is also facing a censure resolution of her own. Initially introduced in July, sponsor U.S. Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.) maneuvered Thursday to bring it to a vote following Green’s resolution against Tlaib.

Tlaib grieves Palestinian and Israeli lives lost after Hamas attacks, calls for end of ‘apartheid’

“The fact that on the very first day of his leadership, he lets Marjorie Taylor Greene bring to the floor a resolution that is riddled with lies and falsehoods on my colleague — it won’t stand,” she said.

Balint’s measure lists approximately 40 complaints against Greene, including showing nude images of Hunter Biden during a House hearing in July, but also for espousing “antisemitic” and “Islamaphobic” rhetoric and conspiracy theories. Among those listed in the resolution were Greene’s 2018 claim “that wildfires in California were caused by space lasers operated by members of the Jewish community,” and a 2020 suggestion “that Muslim Americans do not belong in the United States Government.”

Both Balint’s and Greene’s resolutions were privileged, meaning the House has two legislative days to vote on it. Because Congress is adjourned until Wednesday, it will be next week before either comes to the floor.

In February 2021, when Democrats controlled the U.S. House, the chamber voted to remove Greene from her committee assignments, citing a series of violent, antisemitic comments and social media posts she made before she was elected to Congress. That was a rare move.

Greene had endorsed a range of conspiracy theories in social media, including that several deadly mass school shootings were staged, and she liked a post that called for putting a bullet in the head of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Greene also questioned the veracity of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In March 2021, Tlaib signed onto a resolution expelling Greene, but the motion wasn’t taken up.

Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

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