A Florida state Republican lawmaker has sparked outrage after she said that all Palestinians should die during a debate on a ceasefire resolution in the state legislature.
The resolution, proposed by the Democratic state representative Angie Nixon, called for an end to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, which has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, many of them children. The invasion was triggered by a Hamas attack from Gaza that killed at least 1,400 Israelis and captured more than 200 hostages.
Nixon said in her speech, “We are at 10,000 dead Palestinians. How many will be enough?”
Michelle Salzman, a Republican state representative, shouted back, “All of them.”
“One of my colleagues just said, ‘All of them.’ Wow,” Nixon responded.
The resolution was rejected by the Florida State House by a vote of 104-2.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair-Florida), the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group in the US, condemned Salzman’s remarks as a “chilling call for genocide” and a “direct consequence of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by supporters of Israeli apartheid and their willing accomplices in government and the media”.
The controversy comes amid the censure of Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in the US Congress, by some of her fellow Democrats.
Tlaib was accused of “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel” and “spreading false narratives” about the Hamas attack on Israel after she repeated a popular slogan for Palestine that some consider antisemitic but others say is a demand for Palestinian civil rights.
The censure resolution, which was backed by 22 Democrats, punishes Tlaib for her alleged remarks.
In Florida, some people are calling for Salzman to be censured as well.
“Salzman’s words are extremely dangerous and dehumanizing to Palestinians here in the US and under the Israeli occupation,” said Imam Abdullah Jaber, the executive director of Cair-Florida.