Some questions for the 234 representatives who voted to censure Rashida Tlaib

You say you object to the slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Where in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea do you think Palestinians should not be free? You say this slogan is a “call to violence to destroy the state of Israel.” If a demand for Palestinian freedom can only mean to you the destruction of the state of Israel, then what does that say about your idea of Israel? Does it not mean that, for you, Israel’s existence is dependent on the unfreedom of the Palestinians?

I hear you object to the slogan because it “does not advance progress towards a two-state solution” and that would be intolerable. Then why did you not censure yourselves for funding Israel while it placed 700,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank – settlements which shatter Palestine into a thousand fragments and make a two-state solution impossible? Why have you not censured yourselves for repeatedly asserting “Israel’s right to self-defense” while never speaking of Palestine’s right to self-defense? Is the two-state solution you have in mind really just one state, Israel, armed to the teeth, while Palestine lacks an army, borders of its own, or any of the other elements essential to sovereignty?

And when Israel’s president Isaac Herzog came to speak to the US congress in July and declared his hope that Isaiah’s prophecy be fulfilled, that “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore,” why did you not condemn the hypocrisy of Israel’s leaders, who use Gaza as a laboratory to test out the weapons they sell to the world’s most oppressive regimes?

Should we not conclude, then, that what you really desire is the status quo – a system of apartheid, upheld by military occupation? And when you pass resolutions asserting “Israel is not a racist or apartheid state,” are you not yourselves complicit in protecting Israeli apartheid with your lies? And are your denunciations of antisemitism not hollow if you fail to condemn the systemic racism that Israel deploys against the Palestinians?

And when Israel massacres five thousand children in Gaza and you react by voting to send it another four billion dollars of bombs, how is that not you cheering on the slaughter? And then how can we not reject every vile word you utter? How can we not consider you accessories to murder? How can we not condemn you as enemies of humanity?

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