ADC – November 7, 2023
House of Representatives Votes to Censure Rep. Tlaib
for denouncing Israeli genocide in Gaza
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | November 7, 2023 – It is unconscionable that the House of Representatives, including 22 Democrats joined together with almost all Republicans, voted to censure Rep. Tlaib this evening. Make no mistake – Rep. Tlaib was censured simply for speaking up and calling out Israel for its ongoing genocide of the Palestanian people. The willful dismissal of reality by many members, and single-minded focus on defending and justifying the indefensible led to outright lies and vicious attacks being made against Rep. Tlaib.
This action tonight is yet another example of Palestinians being targeted, harassed and silenced not just on school campuses and on social media, but also at the highest level of government. This censure also constitutes an attack on free speech and has established a shameful precedent of punishing Members who stand up for basic human dignity.
As Congress tries to redefine chants, feteshize over Palestinian youth and student groups, and fight over who is the “stronger” defender of an apartheid state, over 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israel, thousands of those victims are children. That number is sure to grow exponentially as it does not account for those still buried under the rubble. Nor does it include the number of those who are dying from dehydration, starvation, disease, as a lack of clean water, electricity and medical supplies takes its toll. The UN Secretary- General said that the Gaza Strip was becoming “a graveyard for children.”
We know we have a true champion and fighter in Rep. Tlaib. This vote will not silence her, nor will it silence the community. We will continue to stand alongside Rep. Tlaib, loudly calling out all aggressions by Israel, and fighting for a free Palestine.
The Associated Press reported that with other Democrats standing by her side, Tlaib defended her stance, saying she “will not be silenced and I will not let you distort my words.” She added that her criticism of the Jewish state has always been directed toward its government and its leadership under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“It is important to separate people and government,” she said. “The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent. And it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation.”
Tlaib became the second Muslim-American woman in Congress to be formally admonished this year for her criticism of Israel. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was removed in February from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for similar comments she made about Israel.
According to AP, Tlaib is now the 26th person to ever be censured by the chamber, and the second just this year. In June, Republicans voted to censure Democrat Adam Schiff of California for comments he made several years ago about investigations into then-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
ADC Defends Rep. Tlaib against censorship and misrepresentation of Palestinian chant
Washington, D.C | November 7, 2023 —The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemns the continued attempts to censor and silence Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress.
The ADC finds it unacceptable that Representative Tlaib’s advocacy and use of the chant “from the river to the sea,” a call for justice and equality, is being misrepresented. This slogan, which is a part of the Palestinian narrative, is a demand for democratic coexistence between Jews and Arabs, contrary to the accusation of it being a call for genocide against Jews. The attempts to redefine this chant by those who are not Palestinian is an overreach and mischaracterization.
It is particularly disheartening to see members of the Democratic Party partaking in these censorious actions. The ADC condemns the actions of those who have joined this pile-on against Representative Tlaib for her defense of Palestinian rights and the assertion of their narrative.
The ADC also finds it reprehensible that the debate over this chant is distracting from the urgent need to address the ongoing violence and human rights violations in Gaza where over 10,000 people have been killed by Israel in the past month. The focus should be on promoting peace and protecting civilian lives, rather than on silencing a representative who gives voice to Palestinian Americans and their right to self-determination.
Representative Tlaib’s statement makes clear her commitment to peaceful coexistence and human rights for all in the region, and it is imperative that her words not be taken out of context or used to further political divides. Rather, her colleagues should heed her call to focus on the humanitarian crisis and work towards a resolution that upholds the dignity and rights of all people.
The ADC stands firmly against any form of racism and discrimination and supports the rights of all individuals, including Representative Tlaib, to express their views without fear of censorship or misrepresentation.
Arab Voters in Michigan Say No to President Joe Biden
Dearborn, MI |ﾠwww.adc.org | November 2, 2023 – Since early October, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has engaged with voters in Michigan to gauge the sentiment of the Arab American community. The overall sentiment reflects a community that is deeply disappointed, angry and frustrated. Mirroring the poll recently released by the Arab American Institute (AAI) in which just 17% of Arab Americans were supportive of President Biden’s reelection, our conversations with voters in Michigan reflects a community that feels betrayed by the President and his Administration.
Over the coming days and weeks, ADC will be providing more insight on our conversations with voters from key 2024 states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Virginia. ADC has held conversations with a broad swath of Arab American voters, including local and state level elected officials.
Throughout all our conversations and interviews, an overwhelming majority of those we spoke with conveyed, in no uncertain terms, that they will not be casting their votes in favor of President Biden in 2024. This decision stems not from partisan politics but from their profound sense of betrayal. Our community’s values, deeply rooted in the principles of justice, peace, and human rights, find no resonance in the Biden administration’s recent decisions.
In 2020, President Biden garnered significant support from Arab Americans in Michigan, helping him win the state. Over the past two weeks, President Biden has regrettably lost the faith and trust of our community. His fear-mongering, peddling of false headlines, erasure of the Palestinian people, and greenlighting of a genocide in the Gaza Strip, have left an indelible mark on the community’s perception of his leadership, and commitment to our values.
The Arab American community in Michigan is not merely a demographic statistic. It is a dynamic and vital constituency whose political engagement and voting power has shaped local, state, and national elections. Over the years, Michigan has witnessed the transformative influence of Arab American voters, who are keenly aware of, and actively engaged in, the democratic process. Candidates and political parties would be foolish to underestimate the impact of this crucial voting bloc. Our community is both vigilant and discerning, ready to support leaders of any party who genuinely represent our values and concerns.
Many in Michigan want to remind President Biden of the promises he made to our community, and of the trust that was placed in him. It is important to note that the disillusionment coming from Arab American voters in Michigan with President Biden’s leadership does not denote political apathy. On the contrary, it underscores a heightened resolve to champion our values and ensure their implementation.
ADC urges President Biden to recognize the depth of disappointment and anger within the Arab American community. True leadership is gauged not merely by decisions made in moments of crisis, but more so by the ability to admit missteps and take corrective measures.
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