Republican Congressman Max Miller, who recently made a genocidal call to turn Gaza into a “parking lot,” has joined with Republican Congressman David Kustoff to push through a resolution in the US House of Representatives that “clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”
Miller is one of the most racist individuals in the US Congress.
“Rashida Tlaib,” he said in October about the Palestinian flag outside the congresswoman’s office: “I don’t even want to call it the Palestinian flag, because they’re not a state, they’re a territory that’s about to probably get eviscerated and go away here shortly as we’re going to turn that into a parking lot.”
It’s unclear whether Miller is referring not just to the open-air prison of Gaza but the occupied West Bank as well.
This type of language implicates a top US government official in pushing a genocidal outcome for Gaza. US weaponry has, indeed, been used by Israel, helping it to kill some 7,000 Palestinian children in just two months.This is the man pushing a politicized definition of anti-Semitism with Republicans and Democrats lining up to get on board in the 311-14 vote with 92 Democrats voting present, meaning they didn’t cast a vote for or against.
The anti-Zionism language is part of a resolution “strongly condemning and denouncing the drastic rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world.”
The resolution claims that “the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism is widely accepted and serves as a critical tool to help individuals comprehend and identify the various manifestations of anti-Semitism.”
Palestinians who note that Israel and Zionism have dispossessed them and their families and treated them as second-class citizens can now be told – absurdly – that Congress views these lived-reality statements of fact as anti-Semitic.
Advocating for one state with equal rights for all can be similarly viewed, though Congress didn’t react when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September at the United Nations displayed a map of Israel – a state practicing apartheid – that stretched from the river to the sea.
Congressmen Jamie Raskin, Dan Goldman and Nadler voted present and released a joint statement noting, “Among other problems with this resolution, H. Res. 894 does not account for the complexity of Judaism itself and ignores nuanced examples such as the Satmar sect, a Hasidic Jewish movement, which remains staunchly anti-Zionist and quite obviously is not anti-Semitic.”Those concerned with the absence of equal rights for Palestinians in land controlled by Israel will face accusations that such expressions are signs of anti-Jewish hatred. And that’s part of the point: to intimidate newcomers from staying involved in the long struggle for Palestinian rights and freedom.
But it is Palestinians who will most be in the crosshairs.
Miller, one of the leading anti-Palestinian racists in the US House of Representatives, has called for expelling from Congress – not just censuring – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib because he conflates her clear call for equal rights with genocide.He’s already called her an “anti-Semite.” His problem, as his view on a Gaza parking lot makes clear, is not just with Tlaib but with Palestinians in general. Of course, his anti-Palestinian racism has not been a subject for significant discussion by mainstream media in the US.
The resolution dumbs down discourse and makes many pro-Palestinian expressions anti-Semitic. Palestinians could scarcely speak about their own lives and what was done to them in 1948 and how to most justly rectify it – the right of return to one state with equal rights for all – without being labeled as a bigot.
Efforts against anti-Semitism, a serious and real problem, are undercut by the resolution and the confusion it creates around thoughtful political speech. Too many Republicans see anti-Semitism as a wedge issue to be used against Democrats rather than a meaningful issue to be substantively addressed. And too many Democrats conflate calls for equal rights with anti-Semitism.
Dave Zirin, writing in The Nation, stated that the “bill is part of a larger movement to make people feel unsafe to say that they oppose Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.”
Those important words may even understate the case and how far-reaching Miller’s violent ambitions are.
Miller suggested in a November tweet that “Dangerous terrorist sympathizers are here [in the US] too. Not just in Gaza.”
He added, “Hamas terrorists must be eliminated. Everywhere.”
Miller’s words were accompanied by video of protesters outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters being roughed up and at least one hurled down stairs by US Capitol Police.Miller, in effect, is calling these protesters “terrorists” and he wants them “eliminated.” He’s indicating that he wants US authorities to kill fellow Americans protesting Israel’s annihilation of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. His use of the word “eliminated” doesn’t suggest he wants them removed from the scene politically, as bad as that would be, but physically eliminated as in killed.
The Ohio congressman has directed the Biden administration “to get out of Israel’s way and to let Israel do what it needs to do best.” He added that there should be “no rules of engagement.”
It’s a terrifying vision. No rules. No limits. This is someone at ease with genocide who cares not at all for Palestinians.
Right now, and for several weeks, the Israeli military appears to be adhering more to Miller’s vision than the feckless professions of concern emanating occasionally from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden.
CNN keeps asking if there’s an anti-Semitism problem on the left or in the Democratic Party as they repeatedly try to undercut progressive legislators of color who are the most powerful voices for equal rights in the country.
With 7,000 Palestinian children killed by Israel’s apartheid army with US help – and more under the rubble – it’s long past time to ask if both parties have an anti-Palestinian racism problem.
Among the first to be asked should be Congressman Miller.
A new bill
Congress is cultivating a McCarthyist atmosphere with the anti-Zionism resolution being followed by a bill that Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, tweets “would create [a] new Congressional body with broad subpoena authority to force Americans to testify and produce ‘evidence’ related to the committee’s mission to ‘investigate the facts and causes of anti-Semitism in the present day.’”
Crucially, she adds that “the intent behind this bill is EXCLUSIVELY to target criticism of Israel and Zionism. This is clear from the whereas clauses (100% about October 7 and its aftermath) and from the press release.”These are concerning developments. Washington is getting deep into the process of conflating support for freedom and equal rights for Palestinians with anti-Semitism. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is already trying to convince the world that the word “intifada” – a “shaking off” or uprising against Israeli occupation and oppression – is a call for genocide. The intimidation is just getting started and Palestinians in the US – and under Israeli apartheid – will pay a heavy price for this sort of rhetoric.
Indeed, they already are as violent and racist attacks against Palestinians are a terrifying reality in the current political climate in the US. Gaza, of course, brings new horrors with each passing day to more than 2 million Palestinians trying to survive brutal bombardment as well as escape white American political leaders who think nothing of calling for genocide and ethnic cleansing and to date have faced no reprimand.
- Max Miller
- David Kustoff
- Rashida Tlaib
- IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- Jerry Nadler
- Jamie Raskin
- Dan Goldman
- Dave Zirin
- The Nation
- Democratic National Committee
- US Capitol Police
- Antony Blinken
- Joe Biden
- Democratic Party
- Elise Stefanik
- Lara Friedman
- Foundation for Middle East Peace