Efforts to protect Americans from extremism condemned as “fascism and pure bigotry” by the same members of Congress strained to condemn the terror attacks on Israel.
Whether referred to as members of the “Jihad Squad” or the “Hamas Caucus,” Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) furthered their sympathies Tuesday with a joint statement spinning a resolution aimed at national security.
Like former President Donald Trump’s maligned travel ban, the legislators, joined by Indiana Rep. André Carson (D) played the victim card as the three Muslim members of Congress took aim at the supposed, “growing tide of bigoted anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian hate pervading our politics.”
Specifically, the lawmakers stood opposed to Missouri Rep. Ryan Zinke’s (R) recently introduced resolution, seeking in part to bar entry for those coming from territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
“Let’s be clear: using the full power of the state to target and persecute a particular ethnic group or nationality is fascism and pure bigotry,” the statement argued.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) November 7, 2023
“This legislation–by a former cabinet official no less–directly violates the U.S. Constitution, and would illegally destroy the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian immigrants who live in and contribute to American society. Though intended to target Muslims,” the legislators claimed, “this bill will also hurt Palestinian Christians, who will be targeted by these provisions. History will harshly judge this xenophobic, punitive and unconstitutional measure.”
Zinke, who served as Interior Secretary in Trump’s administration, had introduced the Safeguarding Americans From Extremism (SAFE) Act and described it as “the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I have seen and it’s well deserved.”
Among other things, the resolution would “Render Palestinian Authority passport holders (covered aliens) inadmissible to the U.S.;” prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from granting visas, Temporary Protected Status, asylum or refugee status; and direct U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with DHS to “identify and remove covered aliens without lawful status.”
I don’t trust the Biden Administration any more than I do the Palestinian Authority to screen who is allowed to come into the United States. This is the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I have seen and it’s well deserved pic.twitter.com/4ZhZghS4Wq
— Rep Ryan Zinke (@RepRyanZinke) November 2, 2023
The trio had framed Republican legislators from both chambers as bigoted by presenting remarks out of context and said, “Senator Lindsey Graham went on national television to declare a ‘religious war’ and said we should ‘level’ the Gaza Strip. Senator Marco Rubio, when asked specifically about avoiding civilian casualties in Gaza, said Israel cannot co-exist with quote ‘these savages…they have to be eradicated.’ Max Miller said Gaza was going to be ‘turned into a parking lot.’ Just last week, Representative Brian Mast questioned the very idea that Palestinian civilians exist and compared them to Nazis.”
Meanwhile, Tlaib was the one to get censured Tuesday by a vote of 234-188 as she defended the Hamas-favored rallying cry “from the river to the sea” which aligned with the terrorist groups stated mission to eliminate Israel.
On the floor of the House, the Michigan congresswoman said, “I will not be silenced and I will not let you distort my words. No government is beyond criticism. 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.”
While Tlaib was quick to recall the tragic death of six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, who had been stabbed by his mother’s landlord in an attack attributed to their Muslim faith, the death of 69-year-old Paul Kessler, who died at a pro-Israel rally in California after a “physical altercation” with anti-Israel protesters — along with the rampant terror spreading on college campuses — was not given the same attention.
In being censured, the Michigan congresswoman became the second Democrat to face an official slap on the wrist related to antisemitism after Omar had met the same fate in February as she was pulled from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) sought more than censure and had called for an ethics investigation as she released a statement Friday that noted Tlaib’s “Long history of making antisemitic remarks since becoming a Member of Congress. The Congresswoman has made multiple dangerous comments erroneously referring to Israel as an ‘apartheid’ and ‘racist’ state, accusing the Government of Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’ against Palestinians, and she has claimed that Israel is ‘promoting racism and dehumanization.'”
“I condemn Representative Tlaib’s repulsive actions and remarks,” Miller-Meeks went on, “and wholeheartedly believe that they are contributing to the rise in violent actions against American Jewish communities.”
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