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Democratic House member accuses Biden of supporting Palestinian ‘genocide’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) also said Americans will remember Biden’s actions when he’s up for reelection in 2024

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaks during a rally about the Israel-Gaza war in Washington on Oct. 20. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) accused President Biden of supporting the “genocide” of Palestinians amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, saying that Americans will remember his actions when he’s up for reelection in 2024.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in the House, posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday seemingly to pressure Biden to support a cease-fire in the conflict.

In the video, which begins with apparent footage of bombings and bloody scenes from the conflict, Tlaib says, “Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this one. … We will remember in 2024.”

“Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people,” text at the end of the video states. “The American people won’t forget. … Biden, support a cease-fire now … or don’t count on us in 2024.”

The Genocide Convention of 1948 codified genocide as an international crime, defining it as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Those acts include killings, inflicting serious harm on a group, making its living conditions impossible, preventing births within the group or forcibly transferring children to another group.

As the war rages, thousands of Gazans have been killed and the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees estimates that about 1.4 million people in Gaza are now internally displaced.

Biden, who has said the United States will stand with Israel in its fight against Hamas, last week stressed that Israel must minimize civilian casualties regardless of whether it poses a “burden.” He’s also called for a humanitarian “pause” in the war.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council reiterated that stance on Saturday morning.

“As you’ve heard us say, we support humanitarian pauses in the fighting in order to get life-saving humanitarian aid in and distributed to those in need in Gaza, and to get hostages out. What we do not support are calls for Israel to stop defending itself from Hamas terrorists, which is what a permanent ceasefire would be,” the spokesperson said.

Tlaib’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday evening. Tlaib on Friday also posted to social media her defense of the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which has often been interpreted as a call for the eradication of Israel.

“From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate,” Tlaib wrote in the post. “My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who told CNN Friday night that he agreed with Biden on the need for a humanitarian pause of Israeli bombing in Gaza, said Tlaib’s claim of genocide was “shocking.”

“I don’t agree with that at all,” Merkley said.

Polls show that Americans are not in broad agreement over America’s role in the Israel-Gaza war or Biden’s handling of the conflict.

A poll by the Economist and YouGov found this week that 22 percent of Democrats want to increase military aid to Israel, compared with 48 percent of Republicans. In contrast, 45 percent of Democrats want to increase humanitarian aid to Palestinians, compared with 8 percent of Republicans. Biden has proposed more than $14 billion in emergency aid to Israel, a move that is broadly supported within the House Democratic caucus.

A separate national poll by Quinnipiac University found that 26 percent of Democrats disapprove of Biden’s response to the war between Israel and Hamas, slightly higher than the 17 percent of Democrats who disapprove of his job performance overall. Among all voters, 42 percent approve of Biden’s response to the conflict and 46 percent disapprove.

Tlaib’s social media posts come days after the House voted to table an effort to censure her over her comments and actions related to the Israel-Gaza war. More than 20 House Republicans voted to table the measure along with every Democratic lawmaker present in the chamber.

Andrea Salcedo, Michael Scherer and Claire Parker contributed to this report.





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