Rashida Tlaib Quadruples Down on Antisemitic 'From the River to the Sea' Chant After Being Censured

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has tripled down on her use of an antisemitic phrase in a video after being censured by the House of Representatives. In the politically charged atmosphere of the public discourse related to the war between Israel and Hamas, Tlaib has emerged as a central figure in the anti-Israel side of the debate.

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However, the lawmaker, who has a history of making bigoted remarks against the Jewish people, came under fire for publishing a video attacking Israel and calling on the Biden administration to stop supporting the country. The footage showed pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas demonstrations that have occurred across the country since the terrorist organization launched a brutal assault against Israel on October 7, killing roughly 1,400 people, including civilians.

In the video, the chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” was prominently featured. The phrase is a thinly veiled call to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state and is favored by extremist groups like Hamas, whose stated objective is to wipe out the Jewish presence in the region.

The video elicited nationwide controversy and resulted in the House voting to censure Tlaib on Tuesday. Later that evening, the lawmaker made an appearance on MSNBC in which she defended and doubled down on her use of the phrase. The host asked about the phrase, noting that many believe it is “a call for an anti-colonial expulsion similar to Algeria kicking out the French” and gave Tlaib the opportunity to explain what she meant by using the phrase.

She claimed many who use the phrase “have always centered it around coexistence” and that they are arguing “that no matter your faith, your ethnicity, your background, you should be able to live without fear, without discrimination, without this inequality that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s extremist party and his leadership has been pushing.”

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Tlaib continued:

For many of my colleagues, they know and deep in their hearts where my heart is, and many of the folks, including the American Jewish community that's out there, demanding again the call again against this notion that we can all live together. I think, again, this is just a moment right now that folks want to use this specific moment to silence the majority of Americans that are calling for a ceasefire, to silence this movement around actual peaceful coexistence, because right now that's not what Netanyahu wants. Netanyahu's current government, most extremist government in the history of Israel, is not calling for that. He's going to United Nations and basically showing maps where Palestinians don't exist. And so I wish my colleagues would call out that.

The host attempted to get Tlaib to clarify, asking if “river to the sea” means a “pluralistic democratic state in the full land from the river to the sea,” which is essentially the one-state solution, or if she meant something different.

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Tlaib responded, employing a tactic favored by far-leftists, which I refer to as “Bringing Out the Blacks,” in an effort to exploit the struggles of black Americans in the United States.

“I grew up in the most beautiful, blackest city in the country where separate but equal didn't work. We saw it in our own country. But I'm not going to push it on the people. If folks want to push for a two-state, go for it. But guess what? Guess what? Netanyahu's current government is not supporting that. He's literally said it to us over and over again. He doesn't want to co-exist with Palestinians."

The vote to censure Tlaib did not fall strictly on party lines, with 234 voting in favor of the resolution and 188 voting against it.

When it comes to the “river to the sea” phrase, there are likely many American activists using it ignorantly believing that it means what Tlaib is pretending it means. However, the fact remains the phrase is a call for genocide against the Jewish people and has been used by Hamas and other antisemitic extremist groups to rally support for this murderous cause.

Tlaib put on a good show, acting as if she is pushing for coexistence. But given her past statements against Israel and the Jewish people, it is too difficult for me to believe she is speaking out of naivete and ignorance – she knows what she is doing.

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While many cheered the censure vote, it obviously has not had an impact. Tlaib is still an antisemitic bigot, along with some of her compatriots in Congress. They will continue spewing their vitriol against the Jewish people and inciting violence by spreading lies about the war in the Middle East.

Government resolutions are not going to fix this problem. Instead, it is truth-tellers in the public square who can educate and persuade the public about the actual nature of this conflict. If this battle will be won, it will be won in the public square, not the halls of Congress.

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