House Democrats have yanked a resolution to censure GOP Rep. Brian Mast (Fla.) for his comments appearing to compare Palestinian civilians with Nazis in the wake of Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel last month.
Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) moved to force a vote on her resolution censuring Mast on Monday. She called the censure measure to the floor as a privileged resolution, which compels leadership to act on it within two legislative days.
The move was prompted by Mast’s remarks last week on the floor, where he suggested all Palestinians were aligned with Hamas, which the United States has long considered to be a terrorist group.
But the resolution did not appear on the House schedule at all this week, and on Wednesday, a Democratic aide and a source familiar with the situation told The Hill the legislation had been pulled from consideration. The source said Jacobs is still working with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-N.Y.) team to consider the best timing to move forward with the resolution.
The vote was expected to come directly on the heels of a vote to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Congress’s only Palestinian American, for her sharp criticisms of Israel following the Hamas attacks, which left more than 1,400 Israelis dead.
That resolution passed on Tuesday night, but an overwhelming majority of Democrats had voted to protect Tlaib from censure, with most arguing that, while they did not support her sentiments, they would defend her First Amendment right to express them.
“What he said is horrible,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “But my inclination right now is just to say let’s not do that; let’s not do censuring.”
Jacobs’ resolution censuring Mast cited comments the Florida Republican made on the House floor earlier this month.
“As a whole, I would encourage the other side to not to lightly throw around the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians, as is frequently said. I don’t think we would so lightly throw around the term innocent Nazi civilians during World War II,” Mast said.
In a statement announcing her censure resolution, Jacobs called Mast’s remarks “incredibly dangerous and dehumanizing as we continue to push for humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in harm’s way in Gaza and as Islamophobic hate crimes rise.”
“The United States stands for the rule of law both here at home and abroad – and these comments denigrate those values and cause real, tangible harm,” she added.