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Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in the US Congress, was criticized for her comments on Israel

The only Palestinian-American politician in the US Congress has been censured after her fellow representatives voted to condemn her speech on Israel.

The House of Representatives voted 234-188 to censure Rashida Tlaib – a punishment just short of expulsion.

Ms. Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, was accused of “promoting false narratives” about of Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which Israel said to have killed 1,400 people and left more than 200 of its citizens hostage Gaza.

House Republicans were joined by 22 Democrats in voting to censure Ms. Tlaib.

All Democrats initially supported Ms. Tlaib and helped defeat the first censure resolution against her last week.

But since then, many of his colleagues, including prominent Jewish members, have become more contradictory about his rhetoric on the war.

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Ms Tlaib condemned the Hamas attack, while criticizing US support for Israel as the country’s military continues to bomb Gaza in response. The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says around 10,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks since the current conflict began.

The censorship action specifically referred to a video shared by Ms Tlaib on social media, in which she uses the phrase “from the river to the sea” – a common pro-Palestinian slogan seen by some as calling for the destruction of Israel.

Republican Rich McCormick of Georgia called for a vote against Ms. Tlaib in response to what he said was her promotion of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He alleged she had “told unbelievable lies about our greatest ally, Israel.”

Her congressional colleagues were also angered Friday when she released a video accusing President Joe Biden of supporting the “genocide of the Palestinian people,” an accusation Israel vehemently rejects.

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Tlaib addressed the House to deny accusations of anti-Semitism, adding that her perspective was needed “more than ever” as the only Palestinian-American in Congress.

“My criticism has always been about the actions of the Israeli government and (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu,” she said.

“The idea that criticizing the Israeli government is anti-Semitic sets a very dangerous precedent.”

“Palestinians are not disposable,” she added, taking a long pause as she grew emotional.

Her grandmother lives in a village in the occupied West Bank, territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war with neighboring Arab states.

Ms. Tlaib’s censure is largely symbolic and does not carry any specific sanctions. However, it has historically been a measure of last resort in American politics – although it is increasingly used for partisan purposes.

She is the second Muslim American woman in Congress to be formally reprimanded this year for her criticism of Israel.

Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in February.

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