Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in Detroit on March 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Rashida Tlaib


Tlaib accused Israel of genocide after it launched a military operation to eliminate Hamas from its final stronghold in Gaza. 

By Algemeiner Staff

US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Tuesday called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of the US Congress, made the demand while accusing Israel of genocide after the Jewish state launched a military operation targeting Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the Palestinian terrorist group’s last stronghold in the enclave.

“There is nowhere safe in Gaza,” Tlaib said in a statement. “I urge the ICC to swiftly issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials to finally hold them accountable for this genocide, as is obviously warranted by these well-documented violations of the Genocide Convention under international law.”

The US and Israel are not members of the ICC. Palestinian territories were given membership in 2015.

The ICC has reportedly considered warrants for Netanyahu and other members of his cabinet — the Israeli premier has characterized the possibility of an ICC arrest warrant as an “unprecedented antisemitic hate crime.” Some Republicans in the US Senate have responded with threats to impose sanctions on the ICC if it moved forward with the arrest warrants.

Tlaib, one of Israel’s harshest critics in Congress, also demanded that fellow lawmakers and US President Joe Biden halt all American military assistance to Israel.

“It is now more apparent than ever that we must end all US military funding for the Israeli apartheid regime, and demand that President Biden facilitate an immediate, permanent ceasefire that includes a complete withdraw of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians,” Tlaib said.

The Michigan Democrat did not mention Hamas once in her statement.

The terrorist group, which rules Gaza, launched the current war with its Oct. 7 invasion of the Jewish state. During their rampage across southern Israel, Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped over 250 others as hostages.

Israel responded to the surprise onslaught with a military campaign in Gaza aimed at freeing the hostages and incapacitating Hamas to the point that it can longer pose a major threat to the Israeli people. Hamas leaders have pledged to carry out massacres against Israel like the one on Oct. 7 “again and again.”

Tlaib’s statement came as the Israeli military said it took operational control of the Palestinian side of Gaza’s southern Rafah Crossing, which borders Egypt, while targeting the Hamas terrorist group’s fighters and infrastructure.

The US has sought to pressure Israel to forgo a significant military operation in Rafah, citing the potential for civilian casualties; Jerusalem has countered that a ground offensive is necessary to eliminate Hamas’ remaining battalions in the southern Gaza city.

Experts have told The Algemeiner that Israel must operate in Rafah if the Jewish state wishes to achieve its war objective of eliminating the threat posed by the Palestinian terrorist group.

“Many of my colleagues are going to express concern and horror at the crimes against humanity that are about to unfold, even though they just voted to send Netanyahu billions more in weapons,” Tlaib said. “Do not be misled, they gave their consent for these atrocities, and our country is actively participating in genocide. For months, Netanyahu made his intent to invade Rafah clear, yet the majority of my colleagues and President Biden sent more weapons to enable the massacre.”

Last month, Biden signed a legislative package that included about $26 billion in aid for Israel. However, the Biden administration has also reportedly held up deliveries of ammunition and precision weapons to the Jewish state amid concern over Israel’s operation in Rafah and, more broadly, increasing opposition to the Israeli war effort against Hamas.

Tlaib has received bipartisan backlash for her fierce opposition to Israel, which she has previously compared with Nazi Germany, since the Gaza war began.

Last month, Tlaib received a wave of criticism for refusing to condemn anti-Israel protesters who chanted “death to America” and “death to Israel” during a rally in her district.

Two months earlier, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Hamas’ use of sexual assault as a weapon of war during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. It was a near-unanimous vote, with a single exception: Tlaib, who only voted “present,” arguing she could not support the measure because it did not also accuse Israel of using sexual assault as a weapon of war. Mounting evidence has documented Hamas’ systematic use of torture and sexual violence, including mass rape, against the Israeli people during the onslaught.

After Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, Tlaib flew a Palestinian flag outside her home and seemingly blamed Israel for the attack, accusing the Jewish state of having an “apartheid system” that fosters “conditions that can lead to resistance.” Later, the lawmaker accused Biden of supporting a “genocide” against Palestinians because he voiced support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

In the following weeks, Tlaib falsely claimed on social media that Israel bombed the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza as part of its military operations targeting Hamas, which rules the coastal Palestinian enclave. It turned out that a misfired Palestinian rocket from Gaza caused a widely reported explosion near the Al Ahli Hospital, according to intelligence from Israel and several Western governments. Experts agreed that Israel was not responsible, but Tlaib refused to recant her claim, arguing that “both the Israeli and United States governments have long, documented histories of misleading the public about wars and war crimes.”

So indecorous was Tlaib’s conduct that in November her colleagues in the House voted to censure her for “promoting false narratives” regarding Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of the Jewish state and for “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

Tlaib’s close ally in the House — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), another vocal opponent of Israel — may also be censured for remarks concerning Israel and Gaza. House Republicans have said they are preparing to formally censure Omar over her recent comments at Columbia University, where she said that “we should not have to tolerate antisemitism or bigotry for all Jewish students — whether they are pro-genocide or anti-genocide.” Critics have argued that Omar’s claim that Jews are “pro-genocide” was antisemitic.

“It’s just unacceptable, so I want to take a bold stand,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) told reporters on Tuesday, explaining that he’ll pursue censure against Omar. He predicted that many Democrats would support his resolution.

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