Republicans Join Democrats in Defeating Censure of Rep. Tlaib

Like many, I have been highly critical of the statements made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) accusing Israel of bombing the hospital in Gaza and other inflammatory comments. However, I also opposed the effort to censure Tlaib on free speech grounds. I was impressed by the comments of Speaker Mike Johnson on the measure and the 23 GOP members who took the unpopular step of voting against the measure even though they disagreed with her viewpoints.

The 23 Republicans joined all House Democrats in a 222-186 vote to block the disciplinary measure pushed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for her criticism of Israel after Hamas launched a deadly attack against the country last month.

The resolution adopted the same type of ambiguous and overly broad definition of insurrection used by Democrats against Republicans. Green’s resolution accused Tlaib “antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations and leading an insurrection” at a House office building.

Tlaib has spread what many would declare “disinformation.” However, that rationale has been used extensively by many to censor and ban opposing views on social media and in academia. It should not be used to censor elected representatives in Congress. Clearly, this carries no real penalties and the House has every right to speak as an institution. However, as Speaker Johnson noted, it leads to endless measures. It also creates a growing expectation that every position deemed offensive or false should be subject to institutional action.

In an appearance with Fox Host Sean Hannity last night with other GOP members, Johnson explained that he opposed such measures in the interests of free speech. He noted that members say controversial things “all the time” and that it is a slippery slope to use such disciplinary measures in a tit-for-tat pattern.

I have previously raised concerns over the threats to free speech in this period of great tension in Congress and on our campuses.  I have denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization, but the solution is not to curtail free speech rights on our campuses.

That is not true about conduct like tearing down posters and threatening others. Recently, Harvard students (including Ibrahim Bharmal who is an editor of the Harvard Law Review) was implicated in a disturbing incident involving Jewish protesters who were shoved and pursued on campus. At Cornell, a student, Patrick Dai, was arrested after threatening Jewish students.

Our campuses and our Congress have a shared value as forums for the expression of political viewpoints. They serve as important spaces for the exchange of opposing views, including some views that may enrage or insult many of us. Yet, if we are to find any resolution of these issues, it will be through the use of free speech, not through its denial.

90 thoughts on “Republicans Join Democrats in Defeating Censure of Rep. Tlaib”

  1. the so-called ‘jews’ are actually not jewish at all, but are khazarians ; the mess in Ukraine is part and parcel with the mess in Israel. the so-called jews did not want Palestine anymore, as “Ukraine” is their homeland now. Ukraine kad very rich soil for production of any type grain and vegetable product. In true fashion, their homeland is where the best of whatever is located. in addition, the so-called jews in Israel form a political party; contributions to this political party should not be considered as supporting ‘Jews” in the true sense of the word.

    1. “the so-called ‘jews’ are actually not jewish at all,”

      Why do you say “so-called”? Why do you think those that converted to Judaism are not Jewish?

  2. Biden to Israel:

    We have your back. For a few days or until my poll numbers drop — whichever comes first.

    “Feckless” is too kind for the Biden administration.

  3. Where are all the Handmaid’s Tale reenactors, with their scarlet cloaks, to protest Rashida Tlaib’s support on the mass rape and murder of Jewish women in Israel? Where are the women’s marches, with the genitalia hats?

    1. Karen, you might have some input on the following since your son is in high school.

      What connection is there to current societal upheaval (i.e. polarization) and the deteriorating mental health of children?
      I’m not a Jew but I wonder what the anti-Semitism propagated by Democrats is having on children, both Jew and Gentile.

      Relatedly, the following 3 news items were published within the last 2 days in Loudon County, VA. Loudon County is also where a male “trans” high school student sexually assaulted different girls, different schools. The Superintendent of Loudon County Public Schools was fired (with pay, ~$300K) after a grand injury blamed the school district for the handling of the Trans/sexual assault incidents and subsequent covering it up. Why Loudon County, VA (the most affluent county in the nation) and not BFE America?

      Students Claim Double Standard During Protest Walk Out | News |

      Sheriff’s Office Investigating 8 Opioid Overdoses at Park View HS | News |

      Nine Overdoses at Park View Leads to Gov. Issuing Executive Order | News |
      same news source:

  4. The problem isn’t Rashida Tlaib. The problem is that her antisemitism appealed to a majority of voters who elected her. Tlaib is the face of her district, Detroit and Dearborn.

    No Jews live in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, or Jordan. At this point, do any Jews dare to live in Dearborn, MI, the home of so many antisemitic rallies? How are the Jewish enclaves in Detroit faring, surrounded with enough people to have voted in a blatant antisemite to Congress?

    1. I have no problem with Tlaib saying whatever she wants to say. It just feels strongly she should be in a Burka and staying in the house all day.

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