FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – 188 members of U.S. Congress voted against the censure of Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who was censured after allegations of her siding promoting a reference to the eradication of Israel on Social Media.
Four of the members who voted against the censure were Republicans, two of whom, Tom McClintock and John Duarte, were from California’s Central Valley.
Valley Democrat Jim Costa, meanwhile, voted in favor of the censure.
Wednesday he released the following statement:
“Every American is entitled to free speech. But it’s not appropriate to use inflammatory language and dangerous rhetoric that fuels Hamas’s narrative of disinformation and promotes videos containing chants of “from the river to the sea” – a known rallying cry used by terrorists to call for the destruction of the Jewish state, Israel. This is not the same thing as supporting the Palestinian people, which I do. As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to measure our words and rebuke any misinformation that is fueling the divisions in our country. There must be accountability because words matter.”Democract Jim Costa.
It’s only the 26th time a member of the house has been censured.
Local Muslim leader Reza Nekumanesh, after he heard of the vote results, spoke out against Congressman Costa.
“This is an attack on any of us who want to speak out. This is an attack on anybody who wants to raise their voice,” he said.
Nekumanesh Tuesday, posted an image of him standing next to Tlaib.
In his post, he also called the 22 Democrats who voted in favor of the censure “snaky,” but said above all else he’s especially ashamed of Costa for voting for the censure.
“I’m disgusted that Congressman Jim Costa would tie his name to that movement, to censure people that are calling out for an end,” said Nekumanesh.
Meanwhile, Congressman John Duarte, who voted against the censure, says it is a violation of free speech and only increases Tlaib’s notoriety among protestors.
“Rashida Tlaib has a First Amendment right to go out on the sidewalk and make a complete fool of herself,” said Duarte. “I very much support the Jewish people but elevating Rashida Tlaib with a very vacuous unconstitutional censure in Congress is the wrong step,” he said.
Valley Republican David Valadao issued a strongly worded statement:
“Rep. Tlaib has continued to share false narratives and anti-Semitic rhetoric while one of our closest allies in the Middle East is under attack. Rep. Tlaib has repeated Hamas’ propaganda by calling for the elimination of the state of Israel, and willfully spread misinformation about the explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital. Her anti-Semitic rhetoric is harmful to the U.S.-Israel relationship and to Jewish people here at home and abroad, and has no place in the House of Representatives.”Republican David Valadao.
This censure does not mean Tlaib will be removed from office.
Censure, however, is one step beneath actual expulsion.