Detroit Freep Editorial: Marjorie Taylor Greene Crosses The Line With Censure Attempt Against Rashida Tlaib

November 01, 2023, 1:41 PM by  Allan Lengel

Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Update: 7:35 p.m. Wednesday -- The U.S. House voted 222-186 on Wednesday night to essentially kill a resolution to censure Detroit Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her criticism of Israel, the Detroit News reports. More than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats to quash the resolution proposed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Tim Walberg, Michigan's most senior Republican in Congress, tells the News he "strongly" disagrees with Tlaib's criticism of Israel but defends her First Amendment rights.

Greene's resolution claims Tlaib was involved in an "insurection" on Capitol Hill related to the Israel-Gaza war, which resulted in the arrest of some protesters inside the Cannon House Office Building. The protesters were Jewish and were advocating for a cease fire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Tlaib spoke to the group and left before arrests were made.


From Earlier Wednesday

Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib doesn’t deserve censure by her colleagues in the U.S. Congress, particularly at the hands of fellow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has made some outrageous antisemitic remarks in the past, a Detroit Free Press editorial says.

The censure vote is expected Wednesday. Greene is pushing for it, claiming Tlaib was involved in an "insurection" on Capitol Hill related to the Israel-Gaza war, which resulted in the arrest of some protesters inside the Cannon House Office Building.

The demonstrators were Jewish people pushing for a ceasefire.  

Greene has referred to the protest as an "insurrection," a term often used to describe the Jan. 6 takeover of the U.S. Capitol. 

The Freep editorial says of the proposed censure:

It's an insult to Tlaib.

It’s also an insult to the Michiganders who elected and twice re-elected Tlaib, a Democrat now serving the 12th District, and to the communities of metro Detroit that are working toward stronger relationships, despite the conflicts that stand to divide us. Greene’s censure resolution is a crass attempt to score political points, with no regard to the damage a successful vote would inflict on this community.

Some colleagues of Tlaib's, both Democrats and Republicans, have been critical of her using the term "genocide" to describe what's happening in Gaza and her voting against a House resolution expressing support for Israel and condemning of the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

In a statement on Oct. 25, she wrote:

"I have and continue to denounce the killing of civilians, no matter their faith or ethnicity. Targeting civilians is a war crime, no matter who does it. Do not confuse my vote against this one-sided resolution with a lack of empathy for all those who are grieving. I voted against this resolution because it is a deeply incomplete and biased account of what is happening in Israel and Palestine, and what has been happening for decades. This resolution rightly mourns the thousands of Israeli civilians killed and wounded in the horrific attacks but explicitly does not mourn the thousands of Palestinian civilians, including over 2,000 children, killed and wounded in the collective punishment of Palestine."

Critics also complained that she continued to push the narrative that Israel was responsible for the bombing of a Gaza hospital, even after evidence surfaced suggesting it was likely a bomb launched from the Gaza. The bombing ignited mass protests in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

The editorial also says that Greene has mischaracterized Tlaib's role in the protest that resulted in people entering the congressional building on Capitol Hill.

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American whose grandmother lives in the West Bank, gave a speech to the Jewish demonstrators pushing for a cease ire, and then left, the Freep writes. She did not encourage demonstrators to enter the building.

Protesters who were arrested had passed through security screening, says the editorial, which notes:  

Greene’s three-page censure resolution is, frankly, unmoored from reality. We’d generally prefer not to elevate this sort of absurdity by responding to it, but Greene is playing a dangerous political game, and our communities may be collateral damage.

On Sunday night, CNN's Jake Tapper ripped into Greene over her censure attempt, saying:

"The degree to which some folks only pretend to care about antisemitism when they can weaponize it never ceases to amaze.”

Tapper, who has been anchored in Tel Aviv, went on to say:

"When you read Greene’s resolution, you realize it is a) written by someone who seems to have learned about the Arab-Israeli conflict maybe 10 minutes before who maybe didn’t even have access to Wikipedia, and b) while there are plenty of valid criticisms of Congresswoman Tlaib, this resolution twists a bunch of things that she’s said beyond recognition, and c) the resolution seems much more focused on Jan. 6 than it does on Oct. 7.”

"Throughout its pages, Marjorie Taylor Greene describes this act of civil disobedience from a bunch of left-wing Jewish groups that are critical of Israel’s government, this act as an insurrection. … This is not an insurrection. It might be a bunch of folks with whom you disagree. It might be a bunch of people who you think are misguided, acting in a way you don’t like. But this is not an insurrection.”

“Antisemitism is not a cudgel to be used against people for political points, nor is Islamophobia or racism or anti-gay behavior or misogyny or any other kind of bigotry. Just over three weeks ago, 1,400 people, mostly Jews, mostly civilians, were slaughtered here in some of the cruelest and most unimaginable ways in the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.”

He ended by saying:

“This shit is not a game.”

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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