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House Passes Resolution Condemning Palestinian Slogan as Antisemitic

US House declares 'from the river to the sea' slogan antisemitic (Credits: Ynetnews)

The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a rallying cry often associated with Palestinian activists.

The resolution, adopted by a vote of 377-44-1, received opposition from 43 progressives and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), while Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) voted “present.”

The resolution, spanning five pages, follows controversy stirred by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who faced censure in November for sharing a video featuring protesters chanting the phrase. Tlaib, who voted against the resolution, defended the phrase on social media, describing it as an “aspirational call for freedom” rather than a call for violence.

From the river to the sea’ is antisemitic (Credits: The Hill)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his reluctance to support the resolution, viewing it as a divisive tactic by Republicans. However, he backed the resolution due to his belief that the phrase is antisemitic and undermines peace efforts in the region.

Tlaib’s defense of the phrase as aspirational in achieving Palestinian statehood contrasts with criticism from lawmakers and supporters of Israel, who argue that it implies the elimination of Israel. The phrase, which encompasses the territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is seen by many as rejecting Israel’s right to exist.

House passes resolution (Credits: New York Post)

Rep. Dean, despite acknowledging the phrase’s problematic nature, opted to vote “present” on the resolution, citing Republican political maneuvers on the issue. She emphasized the importance of purposeful dialogue and action in addressing the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The majority of lawmakers, from both parties, support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, with Israel alongside an independent Palestinian state.

They argue that phrases like “from the river to the sea” undermine efforts towards achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict and delegitimize Israel’s existence.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee have labeled the chant as antisemitic, denouncing it as a rallying cry for terrorist groups seeking Israel’s destruction.

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