Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, has faced criticism and charges of antisemitism over a video in which she accuses President Biden of supporting Palestinian “genocide”. The video includes a chant that many interpret as a call for the destruction of Israel.
In the video released on Friday, Tlaib breaks with Democratic Party protocol by directly criticizing Biden while urging him to support an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire. The video ends with a caption stating, “Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people. The American people won’t forget. Biden, support a ceasefire now.”
The video also includes footage of pro-Palestinian protests in Michigan, where demonstrators can be heard chanting “from the river to the sea,” a slogan that implies the freeing of Palestine.
Tlaib’s ad received immediate backlash. Republican Senator Tim Scott called Tlaib an extension of the Hamas propaganda machine, while the Republican National Committee described the video as “disturbing pro-Hamas content.”
Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema shared a map showing the location of Israel between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, explaining that the chant “from the river to the sea” implies the eradication of Israel and is considered hate speech and antisemitism.
This video comes just after Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in the House and a member of the far-left “squad,” survived a House censure effort due to allegations of antisemitic activity.
Jason Bedrick, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, criticized Tlaib’s ad for calling for a ceasefire only for Israel. He argued that the inclusion of the phrases “no peace on stolen land” and “from the river to the sea” implies that violence against Jews will continue until Israel is destroyed, leading him to conclude that Tlaib supports genocide.
Tlaib later defended the video, stating that the phrase “from the river to the sea” is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. She emphasized that her work and advocacy are always centered on justice and dignity for all people, regardless of faith or ethnicity.
The American Jewish Committee describes the slogan as a common call-to-arms for pro-Palestinian activists, especially on college campuses. They explain that it signifies the establishment of a State of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, erasing the State of Israel, and is also used as a rallying cry for terrorist groups and their sympathizers.