Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan shared a video on social media that apparently included clips of crowds chanting “from the river to the sea,” a phrase which is typically regarded as an anti-Semitic call to wipe out the Jewish state of Israel, but which Tlaib claims “is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence.”
The video that Tlaib posted suggests that if President Joe Biden does not push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, he will lose support during his re-election bid next year.
“We will remember in 2024,” Tlaib says in the video, just before text appears on screen.
“JOE BIDEN SUPPORTED THE GENOCIDE OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE,” the text claims. “THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WON’T FORGET,” further text states. “BIDEN, SUPPORT A CEASEFIRE NOW,” the video reads, before adding, “OR DON’T COUNT ON US IN 2024.”
In a tweet appended to the post containing the video, Tlaib discussed the expression “from the river to the sea”:
“From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity,” Tlaib tweeted.
But despite Tlaib’s claims, others say the phrase carries a much different meaning.
Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) has described the expression as “hate speech” and “antisemitism.”
“We hear ‘from the river to the sea’ chanted at US protests. It’s on posters, even projected on university buildings,” Sinema tweeted while sharing a map. “It means eradicating the state of Israel,” she noted. “It’s about eliminating Jews.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has similarly noted, “When students chant Hamas’ rallying cry, ‘Free Palestine from the river to the sea,’ they are not just chanting a slogan – they are calling for the Jewish nation-state to be wiped out.”
Tlaib has accused Israel’s government of perpetrating “ethnic cleansing in Gaza.”
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