Senator Marsha Blackburn shared a racist tweet about Representative Rashida Tlaib over the weekend. Recent evidence shows she likely won’t face any consequences for it.
Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, has understandably been vocal in her support for Palestine and for a cease-fire since the war in Gaza began. The House censured her last week for her words, with 22 of her fellow Democrats joining Republicans in reprimanding her.
But Blackburn has gone a step further and accused Tlaib, with no evidence, of being linked to Hamas.
“Rashida Tlaib has alleged ties to Hamas,” the Tennessee Republican tweeted Sunday. “Based on these allegations, it’s sadly not surprising she’s calling for a genocide against the Jewish people.”
Blackburn is referring to Tlaib’s use of the phrase “from the river to the sea.” While many Jewish and pro-Israel groups say the saying is antisemitic, it has also been used by Israeli politicians. Tlaib defended her use of the phrase, saying it was a call for “freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence.” Before she was censured, Tlaib called out the rise of both antisemitism and Islamophobia.
But while Tlaib has been censured for calling for peace, there is no outcry on Capitol Hill yet over Blackburn accusing her colleague of links to an extremist group. And there may never be one.
Republicans have repeatedly said outrageous things about Palestine, primarily calling for the extermination of an entire country and people. They make no distinction between Hamas and Palestinian civilians, and yet no one is getting in trouble for it.
What’s more, House Speaker Mike Johnson has a Christian nationalist flag flying outside his district office. The creation of a Christian nation implies the elimination of all other religions, and yet no one is accusing Johnson of calling for genocide.
The closest another lawmaker got to facing consequences was when Representative Brian Mast compared Palestinian civilians to Nazis. A Democratic representative drafted a resolution to censure the Florida Republican, but it has since been dropped.
More than 11,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s ongoing retaliation to Hamas’s October 7 attack. The fighting has also killed at least 39 journalists and other media workers and more than 100 United Nations employees.