Leading leftist Jayapal faces GOP censure for calling Israel a ‘racist state’

House Republicans are moving to censure Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal over her comments last week calling Israel a “racist state.” It’s the latest rebuke against Jayapal, D-Wash., who has since walked back her remark and even voted “yes” on a GOP-led resolution affirming Israel is not a racist or apartheid state. It happened just before the country’s President Herzog addressed a joint meeting of Congress.  The censure resolution was filed on Thursday by Reps. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., Randy Weber, R-Texas, and Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. It’s not yet clear if House leaders intend to bring it to the floor for a vote. Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.  ‘SQUAD’ DEM FACES BACKLASH FOR SMEARING ISRAEL AS ‘RACIST STATE’: ‘TRULY DISGUSTING’ But if the GOP’s response to a wave of progressive-led anti-Israel sentiment this week is any indication, Republicans are likely eager to seize on the issue as it continues to highlight divides within the Democratic Party. Jayapal said at a Netroots Nation panel in Chicago last weekend, “I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state, that the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy, that the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us — that it doesn’t even feel possible.” RASHIDA TLAIB, ‘SQUAD’-LINKED COMMITTEES PUSHED LARGE SUMS TO ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVIST’S CONSULTING FIRM She later walked it back somewhat, though she said, “I do, however, believe that Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing government has engaged in discriminatory and outright racist policies and that there are extreme racists driving that policy within the leadership of the current government.” Her initial words earned a rare rebuke from House Democratic leaders and were also heavily criticized in a letter signed by 43 of Jayapal’s colleagues who called the comments “unacceptable.” It also led to a resolution in the House to affirm support for Israel, which nine progressive Democrats voted against.  ‘SQUAD’ MEMBERS VOTE AGAINST PRO-ISRAEL RESOLUTION, ONE CALLS ISRAEL ‘APARTHEID’ STATE Jayapal said of her vote on that bill, “I am not going to be bullied by their political games, and I’m not going to let them try to continue this debate, so I voted yes on the resolution.” Her office did not immediately return a request for comment on the GOP censure resolution. It would be the second time in recent weeks the House Republican majority invoked its power to formally punish members of the chamber. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was censured late last month for promoting unproven claims that the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the presidency.
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