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Michigan GOP senators sponsor resolution calling on Rep. Tlaib to resign

By: - November 9, 2023 3:18 pm

U.S. Rashida Tlaib at the Detroit NAACP dinner | Andrew Roth

The entire Michigan Senate Republican caucus has signed on to a resolution calling for U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) to resign from office, citing her “hurtful comments” about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

Introduced by Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Porter Twp.), and supported by the 17 other Senate GOP members, the resolution asserts that Tlaib responded to the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by the militant groupw Hamas “in an insensitive and inappropriate fashion,” noting that she  “refused to condemn Hamas in her initial response” to the attacks and that in the wake of an explosion at a hospital in Gaza hospital, Tlaib “irresponsibly shared Hamas propaganda blaming Israel, despite U.S. intelligence assessments indicating that Israel was not responsible for the blast.” 

House Minority Leader Matt Hall, left, and Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt, right, speak to reporters following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fifth State of the State address on Jan. 25, 2023. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

It also cites her defense of the “use of the Hamas rallying cry, ‘from the river to the sea,’ which calls for the eradication of the Israeli state and the Jewish people.”

In a press release following the introduction of the resolution, Nesbitt went even further in his condemnation of Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress.

“Congresswoman Tlaib has gone well beyond her initial refusal to condemn the Oct. 7 terrorist acts on Israel into openly echoing Hamas catchphrases calling for the eradication of the Jewish state; this is unconscionable for a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives,” he said. “She is not fit to serve within the dignified office she holds, and Michigan’s leaders should unite their voices in calling for her resignation. This is not a partisan issue, but an issue of common moral decency.”

The resolution follows Tuesday’s 234-188 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to censure Tlaib along similar lines, with 22 Democrats joining majority Republicans in approval.

Michigan’s delegation was divided on party lines, with seven Democrats voting against the measure and six Republicans voting for it.

While Tlaib has not returned a request for comment from the Michigan Advance about the resolution for her to resign, she did address her House colleagues in an emotional floor speech Tuesday, insisting she was being targeted for her support of Palestinian causes and advocacy for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable,” she said, her voice cracking. “We are human beings, just like anyone else.”

Hamas’ terrorist attack on Oct. 7 killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Israel’s counteroffensive has killed more than 10,000 people, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. Most of the dead Palestinians were children, Tlaib said Tuesday.

“Speaking up to save lives, Mr. Chair — no matter faith, no matter ethnicity — should not be controversial in this chamber,” Tlaib continued. “The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity.”

Nesbitt’s resolution was assigned to the Senate Government Operations Committee, the committee where bills are traditionally sent to languish. The Legislature is expected to adjourn for the year on Tuesday.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King is the Senior Reporter for the Michigan Advance and has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2022 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell.

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