House Passes Resolution Condemning 'From the River to the Sea' Chant as Antisemitic

The U.S. House condemns "From the River to the Sea" chant as antisemitic, highlighting the debate over Israel-Palestine and rising U.S.-Iran tensions. Bipartisan resolution passes, but faces opposition from progressive Democrats.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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House Passes Resolution Condemning 'From the River to the Sea' Chant as Antisemitic

House Passes Resolution Condemning 'From the River to the Sea' Chant as Antisemitic

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution on Thursday condemning the chant "From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free" as antisemitic. The resolution, H.R. 883, was led by Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Anthony D'Esposito (NY-4), and Jared Moskowitz (FL-23) and passed by a vote of 377-44-1.

The resolution states that the slogan calls for the "total eradication of the Jewish, democratic state of Israel and the annihilation of the Jewish people." According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were nearly 9,000 antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2023, the highest number on record since the ADL started tracking antisemitism in 1979. The ADL and the American Jewish Committee have also condemned the "From the River to the Sea" chants as antisemitic.

However, 43 Democrats and one Republican voted against the resolution. Progressive "Squad" Democrats, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and Cori Bush, as well as House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, were among those who opposed it. Rep. Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, had previously posted a video that included the phrase, which she called an "aspirational call for freedom."

The House also passed several Iran-related bills in response to Tehran's attack on Israel over the weekend. These include the Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act, which requires the U.S. President to report on and publish the assets of certain Iranian government officials and terrorist leaders, and the No Technology for Terror Act, which would permanently ban the export of U.S.-made tech to Tehran.

Why this matters: The resolution's passage highlights the ongoing debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism. It also comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, with the House taking steps to increase pressure on Tehran.

The majority of Democrats and Republicans support a two-state solution and criticize those who invoke "from the river to the sea" as delegitimizing Israel's existence. "The slogan 'from the river to the sea' is a rallying cry used by Hamas and other terrorist organizations," said Rep. Gottheimer in a statement. "We must condemn this inflammatory rhetoric which calls for the complete destruction of the world's only Jewish state."

Key Takeaways

  • House passed bipartisan resolution condemning "From the River to the Sea" as antisemitic.
  • Resolution states the slogan calls for eradication of Israel and annihilation of Jews.
  • 43 Democrats and 1 Republican voted against the resolution, including "Squad" members.
  • House also passed bills to increase pressure on Iran after its attack on Israel.
  • Passage highlights ongoing debate over Israeli-Palestinian conflict and criticism of Israel.