Rep. Rashida Tlaib is pushing back against colleagues and constituents alike who have accused her of supporting the Hamas attacks in Israel, stating that the claims are "rooted in bigoted assumptions about my faith and ethnicity."
"I do not support targeting and killing of civilians, whether in Israel or Palestine," Tlaib, who is the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, told the Michigan Advance on Wednesday. "[The] fact that some have suggested otherwise is offensive and rooted in bigoted assumptions about my faith and ethnicity."
Tlaib has been badgered by questions in recent days about the Hamas attacks, facing calls to resign and even a proposed resolution that would prevent her from displaying a Palestinian flag outside of her office.
Even the White House said it is "wrong" and "repugnant" for lawmakers to see "two sides" to the issue, despite President Joe Biden stating in his address to the nation Tuesday that Hamas "does not stand for the Palestinian people's right to dignity and self-determination."
Tlaib, in her initial statement , said that she mourns "the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost yesterday, today, and every day."
"The failure to recognize the violent reality of living under siege, occupation, and apartheid makes no one safer," Tlaib said. "As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue."
Other progressive representatives have encouraged addressing the humanitarian conditions facing the Palestinians as a long-term solution to the violence in the region. Cori Bush said the nation "must do our part to stop this violence and trauma by ending U.S. government support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid."
Ilhan Omar said in a statement : "Just as we honor the humanity of the hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians and 9 Americans who were killed this weekend, we must honor the humanity of the innocent Palestinian civilians who have been killed and whose lives are upended."
Bernie Sanders has also condemned Israel's response to the Hamas attack, in which they cut off electricity, food, fuel, and water to the more than 2 million residents of Gaza, describing it as a “serious violation of international law.”
“The targeting of civilians is a war crime, no matter who does it. Israel’s blanket denial of food, water, and other necessities to Gaza is a serious violation of international law and will do nothing but harm innocent civilians,” he said in a