Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is insisting on X, formerly Twitter, that the slogan "from the river to the sea" is "an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate."
Many Jewish people disagree, saying the full slogan, "From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free," is a call for the elimination of Israel, which Hamas has been advocating. Israel is situated between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who is Jewish, tweeted in response to remarks by Tlaib, a Palestinian American:
"I have supported and defended you countless times, even when you have said the indefensible, because I believed you to be a good person whose heart was in the right place.
"But this is so hurtful to so many. Please retract this cruel and hateful remark."
State Senator Jeremy Moss, who is also Jewish, tweeted:
"This is not how Jews view the phrase 'from the river to the sea.' This is not how Hamas views the phrase 'from the river to the sea.'
Hamas uses it as a rallying cry. And they don’t simply want to displace Jews in Israel. They want Jews dead.
Jewish state Rep. Noah Arbit also tweeted:
It is disturbing and enraging that Jewish communities in Southfield, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Beverly Hills and beyond are represented by someone who adopts wholesale the call for the State of Israel to be wiped from the map, necessitating the elimination of 8 million Jews.”
Tlaib in her tweet also wrote:
"My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity."
Tlaib has accused Israel of genocide in Gaza, and advocated for an immediate cease fire. She has also been publicly saying that President Joe Biden's support of Israel may cost him the 2024 election.
In a campaign email appeal Sunday, Tlaib’s team said she “will not back down in leading our movement and demanding a ceasefire now" in the Israel-Hamas war, the Detroit News reports.
“The lie that any critique of the Israeli government is antisemitic sets a dangerous precedent, and it’s being used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our country," the campaign email said.
On Oct. 7, Hamas attacked Israel, killing about 1,400 people, most of whom were civilians. Some were tortured. They also kidnapped more than 200 people. Israel has responded. The Palestinian Health Ministry says more than 9,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war.
Israel has accused Hamas of using the Palestinian people as shields in combat.