Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and strong voice for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas, released a video Friday accusing President Biden of supporting the genocide of the Palestinians.
“Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this,” Ms. Tlaib says in the video. “We will remember in 2024.”
After she speaks, the screen goes dark and a message appears in white letters reading: “Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people.” The American people will not forget. Biden, support a ceasefire now. Or don’t count on us in 2024.”
Ms Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, is at the forefront of a group of progressive lawmakers criticizing Mr Biden’s embrace of Israel since the Hamas attack on October 7, saying his actions contributed to the deaths of Palestinians. civilians in Israel’s response. She has already fended off a censure attempt in the House this week over her comments on the war and faces attack ads from a pro-Israel Democratic group.
But accusing Mr. Biden of supporting genocide constitutes an extraordinary attack on the president by a lawmaker from his own party. The language used in the video also threatens to widen an already tense fissure within the Democratic Party over the conflict, with pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli members of the party trading accusations of bigotry.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the video.
Mr Biden faces enormous pressure from these cross-sections within the party as he seeks to stand with Israel – the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East, which has last month experienced the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust – and helped ease tensions. suffering of Palestinian civilians as Israel hits the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and ground invasion.
The Biden administration has called for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to reach civilians and for more people to leave the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have rejected the call, saying any end to Israel’s military campaign would depend on the release of more than 200 hostages kidnapped by Hamas in the October 7 attack.
Mr. Biden also became more critical of the Israeli government’s response as the death toll in Gaza rose and the humanitarian crisis deepened, while declaring his unambiguous support for Israel and its right to defend oneself.
The video posted by Ms. Tlaib opens with a clip of Mr. Biden declaring that the United States stands with Israel, before cutting to videos of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, children bleeding in medical tents, bodies lying in rubble and demonstrations around the Gaza Strip. The United States calls for a ceasefire.
One clip features a demonstration in Michigan in which demonstrators chanted “from the river to the sea” – a chant used by Hamas that many Jews view as calling for the eradication of Israel.
In a follow-up message on destruction or hatred. »
The video contains just the latest in a series of statements that have put Ms. Tlaib at odds with many in her party.
“As the Israeli government carries out ethnic cleansing in Gaza, President Biden is emboldening Netanyahu, whose own citizens are protesting his refusal to support a ceasefire,” Tlaib said Thursday. “We must focus on saving lives, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. »
The House on Thursday rejected a resolution to formally reprimand Ms. Tlaib, with about two dozen Republicans joining Democrats in opposition. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, accuses Ms. Tlaib of “anti-Semitic activity” and references an Oct. 18 protest at a House office building, during which Ms. Tlaib accused Israel of genocide, as an “insurrection”.
About 20 far-left lawmakers signed a resolution urging the White House to call for a ceasefire and de-escalation of violence in the Middle East. Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, on Thursday became the first senator to call for a ceasefire if the hostages are released, and Pope Francis called for an end to the war on Sunday.