Hands off Rashida Tlaib! Defending Palestinians is courageous and righteous

Rashida Tlaib

The House of Representatives voted 234-188 to censure Rashida Tlaib — its only Palestinian member — for condemning the U.S. / Israeli genocide in Gaza. Over 10,000 Palestinians have been murdered so far in Gaza by U.S.-made and U.S.-paid-for bombs and shells. Four thousand have been children.

The Nov. 7 resolution is as racist as was the expulsion of Harlem Congressperson Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in 1967. Powell had earlier been ousted from chairing the House Education and Labor committee, where he battled discrimination and fought for all poor people.

It’s reminiscent of Georgia’s state legislature refusing to seat Julian Bond in 1966 because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. Bond was among the first Black people elected to Georgia’s legislature since the bloody overthrow of Reconstruction.

What was Rashida Tlaib censured for? According to Politico, “Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) had moved to censure Tlaib for what he called ‘promoting false narratives’ about the Palestinian militant group Hamas’ attack on Israel and for ‘calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.’”

So Rashida Tlaib was punished for her opinions, just as Julian Bond was prevented from taking his legislative seat for what he said about the dirty U.S. war against Vietnam. “Freedom of speech” was never meant for the oppressed.

Tlaib’s censure follows the expulsions earlier this year of Justin Bautista-Jones and Justin Pearson, two Black members of Tennessee’s House of Representatives. The Montana House of Representatives prevented Zooey Zephyr, its only transgender member, from speaking or even entering the legislative chamber.

All these elected legislators were punished for expressing their opinions. The real “cancel culture” is capitalist reaction trying to silence any genuine opposition.

An earlier Nov. 1 vote to censure Rashida Tlaib narrowly failed. Its sponsor was the reactionary Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who believes “Jewish space lasers” caused California forest fires. 

Six days later, McCormick’s censure of Tlaib passed in revenge for the massive protests around the world in defense of the Palestinian people. Three hundred thousand people marched to the White House on Nov. 4 in a demonstration organized by many Palestinian organizations and the ANSWER coalition.

Twenty-two Democrats shamelessly voted with Republicans to censure Tlaib. Along with the one Democrat who was counted present, their votes were the margin of victory to try to silence the lone Palestinian voice in Congress. 

Refuses to censure Israeli racism

Prominent Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer refuse to condemn racist statements made by Israeli officials and media. Israeli Minister of Heritage Amichay Eliyahu called for dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza

Prime Minister Netanyahu ostensibly kicked Eliyahu out of the cabinet. Nobody is supposed to admit that “little Israel” has nukes. The thousands of bombs dropped on Gaza have twice the equivalent of TNT compared to the atom bomb the U.S. used to incinerate Hiroshima. 

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “total siege” on Gaza. “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed,” Gallant said. “We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly.”

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog proclaimed there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, meaning that any child or adult can be killed. 

U.S. Congressperson Brian Mast also denied that Gaza lives matter, comparing the civilians there to Nazis. Yet Democrats pulled their censure resolution of the Florida Republican. 

The Israeli daily newspaper Hayom demanded that the time had come to “send Gaza back into the Stone Age.” 

Retired Israeli general Giora Eiland said a “total war” was necessary to defeat Palestinians. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels also demanded a “total war” after the German defeat at Stalingrad.

Eiland, the former head of Israel’s National Security Council, called for creating “a terrible humanitarian crisis in Gaza because this kind of pressure might be the most effective one.”  

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir doesn’t want to allow any humanitarian aid into Gaza. 

This barbarism is intended to drive the Palestinian population out of Gaza as well as the West Bank. Zionist leaders want a new Nakba — Arabic for catastrophe — like what happened in 1948. “Israel” was born with 15,000 Palestinians murdered and 531 Palestinian villages destroyed.

Palestine extends from river to sea

All the big capitalist media are supporting the ruthless Zionist invasion of the Gaza ghetto. “Freedom of the press” is for those who own one.

Palestinian freedom fighters are being labeled “terrorists” just like the slave masters called Nat Turner — who led a revolt of enslaved Africans in Virginia — a “monster.”

Neither the media nor the Biden administration nor Bernie Sanders are calling for a ceasefire. Refusing a ceasefire is endorsing the continued bombing of 2.3 million Palestinians in an area that’s as densely populated as New York City. 

The Zionist military and its Pentagon advisors are deliberately targeting hospitals, schools, and other shelters. Hundreds of children are guaranteed to be killed every day.

The same House of Representatives that censured Rashida Tlaib voted five days earlier to give another $14.3 billion to Israel for killing Palestinians. At the same time, $3 billion has been cut from SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps) every month since March. 

Rashida Tlaib was censured for supposedly “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” What’s wrong with destroying a racist apartheid state that even restricts Palestinians from traveling on certain highways? 

It’s anti-racist, not anti-Jewish, to chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” Thousands of Jewish people have demonstrated in support of Palestinians.

The people of Zimbabwe wiped racist Rhodesia off the map and took back their land. So will the people of Palestine.

Hands off Rashida Tlaib!

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