US House declares 'from the river to the sea' slogan antisemitic in new resolution

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approve resolution brought forward following Iranian attack; Squad and progressive Democratic lawmakers vote against

Daniel Edelson, New York |
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved a resolution condemning the use of the phrase "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" and calling it antisemitic.
The decision, which passed by a vote of 377 to 44, is only declarative but comes months after Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib was censured by the House for posting on X a video of protesters chanting the same phrase. Tlaib voted against the resolution.
The decision is part of a series of 17 legislative measures promoted in the House of Representatives in response to the Iranian attack on Saturday night to bolster support for Israel.
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הפגנות נגד ישראל בוושינגטון, גבעת הקפיטול
הפגנות נגד ישראל בוושינגטון, גבעת הקפיטול
Demonstrations against Israel on Capitol Hill in Washington DC
Most of the resolutions promoted in the House of Representatives in the wake of the Iranian attack passed by a large majority and were opposed only by Talib and the other members of the Squad - a group of eight Democratic congress members identified with the left wing of the party, and other progressive Democrats.
Kentucky State Representative Thomas Massie, who usually votes against any legislation affecting U.S. foreign relations, was the only Republican to vote against all but one of the legislative measures.
Resolutions that were approved call for "exacting a price" from the leaders of Iran, preventing the Islamic Republic from evading U.S. sanctions, and making some sanctions permanent. It is unclear whether the U.S. Senate will act to advance any of the 17 resolutions.
Since October 7, the slogan "From the river to the sea" has become a recurring motif in pro-Palestinian demonstrations around the world, and Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of the House of Representatives, was reprimanded in November in a rare decision following her comments on the Israel-Hamas war.
By a majority of 234 to 188 members of Congress, Tlaib was accused, including 22 members of her party, of "promoting false narratives" and "calling for the destruction of the State of Israel," mainly due to her common use of the phrase. Talib, the only member of the Squad who did not condemn Hamas after the October 7 massacre, said she believes that the slogan only expresses an aspiration for a Palestinian state.
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 רשידה טליב
 רשידה טליב
Palestinian American Congress Member Rashida Tlaib
(Photo: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The phrase, which was born in the early 1960s as a political slogan of social activists who called for a return to the "borders of Palestine" predating the British mandate, became more familiar in the world after the events of October 7, and as did the recognition of its hidden meaning.
Following Tlaib's censuring in November, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said that "this is a divisive statement, many find it offensive, and many find it antisemitic. We absolutely reject the application of this term to the conflict."
Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries, an avid supporter of Israel, told Tlaib before the official reprimand that "the echoing of slogans that are widely understood as calling for the complete destruction of Israel - such as 'from the river to the sea' - do not promote progress toward a two-state solution. Instead, it contributes to further polarization, division and incitement to violence."
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