Florida lawmaker faces backlash for calling for death of all Palestinians
A Florida state representative has sparked outrage and after she shouted “all of them” when asked how many Palestinians should die in the ongoing conflict with Israel. Michelle Salzman, a Republican from Pensacola, made the comment during a debate on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Nixon, who referred to the region as “Israel and occupied Palestine”, said in her speech: “We are at 10,000 dead Palestinians. How many will be enough?” Salzman, who is married to a Jewish man, responded: “All of them.” The remark was barely audible in the chamber, but it was heard by Nixon and later went viral on social media. Nixon identified Salzman as the source of the comment and asked her to respond on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Salzman issued a statement on X, saying that her comment was only directed at Hamas terrorists and not the Palestinian people. She said she was proud to stand in solidarity with Israel’s right to defend itself and that Hamas was responsible for all the death on both sides of the conflict. She also apologized for any suggestion that she wanted an entire community erased and said she was receiving security protection from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after getting credible death threats against herself and her family.
Salzman’s comment was condemned by various groups and individuals, including the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair-Florida), the US’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. Cair-Florida said in a statement that Salzman’s remark was a “chilling call for genocide” and a “direct result of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by advocates of Israeli apartheid and their eager enablers in government and the media”. Cair-Florida also called for Salzman to be censured by her party and repudiated by all Florida legislators.