Jun 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans move to censure the Squad over Israel comments

Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich

Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Three House Republicans introduced a resolution Monday to condemn and censure members of the Squad over comments on Israel, accusing the progressive cohort of "defending foreign terrorist organizations" and "inciting anti-Semitic attacks" across the U.S.

The state of play: It comes a week after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," in reference to potential investigations by the International Criminal Court.

  • A group of 12 Jewish House Democrats issued a statement asking Omar to clarify her comments. Omar specified that she was not making a moral comparison between the U.S. and Hamas or the Taliban.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her Democratic leadership team welcomed Omar's clarification in a statement.

The big picture: In a press release Monday, Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) singled out Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), saying the four women "continually lie to the world in attempting to equate Israel’s right to defend itself with the attacks coming from Hamas."

  • In an accompanying fact sheet, they criticize the Squad's opposition to U.S. weapons sales to Israel.

What they're saying: “We cannot turn a blind eye to Members of Congress openly defending terrorist attacks by Hamas against our close ally Israel nor their dangerous rhetoric which has contributed to anti-Semitic attacks across the country,” Waltz said in the press release.

  • “Actions speak louder than squishy words. Speaker Pelosi can let members vote on our resolution, or she can cover for the Hamas Caucus and their anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric," added Banks.
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