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Democrats concerned over Tlaib’s anti-Israel rhetoric, but are not backing new GOP censure efforts

House Democrats are growing increasingly alarmed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib's comments that are critical of Israel but have stopped short of saying the Michigan Democrat deserves to be censured over her rhetoric. Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, has been a vocal critic of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. Her comments have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans and even some members of her own party. Earlier this month, Tlaib tweeted her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to change its policies toward Palestinians through economic pressure. She also accused pro-Israel lawmakers of having dual loyalty, saying they "forgot what country they represent." House Democratic leaders quickly condemned Tlaib's remarks, with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer calling them "deeply disappointing and disturbing." However, they have not taken any formal action against her. Some Democrats have expressed concern that censuring Tlaib could backfire and further divide the party. They fear it could alienate progressive voters, who see Tlaib as a champion for their causes. "The members are very concerned about anti-Semitism, and we have made that very clear," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "On the other hand, they're also an awful lot of people who are saying she's being singled out because she's Muslim, and that's not right either." Nadler added that while Tlaib's comments were "wrong," he did not believe they rose to the level of censure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also declined to support censure efforts against Tlaib. In a recent interview with CNN, Pelosi said she believed the matter should be resolved within the Democratic caucus. "I don't agree with what's being said," Pelosi said. "I think that they should clarify their remarks, but I don't think that they should be censured in the way that they're being accused and being misrepresented in the Republican ads against them." Tlaib has remained defiant in the face of criticism, saying she will not be silenced. In an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press, she defended her support for the BDS movement and accused her detractors of trying to "silence, sideline, and punish" her for speaking out. "While I fully respect the right of my colleagues to offer their own opinions on BDS, we must remember that the right to free speech is a bedrock principle of our democracy," Tlaib wrote. "As Americans, we firmly reject the notion that any country or its leader should dictate what we say or how we say it." Despite the controversy surrounding Tlaib's comments, some Democrats argue that censuring her would only distract from more pressing issues facing the country, such as healthcare and climate change. "I think there are better uses of our time," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been a vocal supporter of Tlaib. "The fact that the GOP is spending time on censure resolutions when we have 400 bills sitting on McConnell's desk...tells you how unseriously they take legislating." Republicans, however, are not backing down. They have introduced a censure resolution against Tlaib, accusing her of "disgraceful and un-American rhetoric." The resolution also calls on Tlaib to apologize to her colleagues and the American people. "Tlaib's comments are not merely offensive, they are dangerous," said Rep. Lee Zeldin, who introduced the resolution. "They undermine the United States-Israel relationship and threaten to mainstream anti-Semitism in our politics and society." The resolution is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled House, but Republicans hope it will put pressure on Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to take action against Tlaib. In the meantime, Tlaib continues to advocate for her beliefs and push for change. She has called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel until it changes its policies toward Palestinians and has been vocal in her support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the controversy surrounding Tlaib's comments continues, it remains to be seen what, if any, action will be taken against her. But one thing is clear: her remarks have sparked a broader debate within the Democratic Party about the U.S.-Israel relationship and the role of criticism in American politics.

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