PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) — Florida State Rep. Michelle Salzman of Pensacola is facing backlash for comments she made on the floor of the House this week.
Salzman was responding to Rep. Angie Nixon, who urged the House during a speech to support a resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Nixon told her colleagues that 10,000 Palestinians have died so far before asking, "How many will be enough?" A voice then shouted out: "All of them." Nixon identified that speaker as Salzman and is now calling for her resignation.
WEAR caught up with Salzman Friday morning as she was leaving a veterans ceremony and asked her about her comment.
"That's fake. You really should know that," Salzman responded.
Salzman's comment went viral, causing backlash from her colleagues and on social media. She confirmed to WEAR on Friday morning that she has received threats over what she said.
WEAR: "Are you sure you don't want to comment at all?"
SALZMAN: "Are you sure you want to follow me like this? Really? Look at that. You have people at a veterans event. I'm going to pray for you."
WEAR also spoke to Nixon on Friday.
I was clear in what I was talking about, which were the lives of innocent Palestinians. Period," Nixon said. "She said that when I asked how many Palestinians lives have to end. She was clear. She said, 'All of them.'"
Salzman posted to X to add context to her comment during Nixon's speech:
"On Tuesday, I was proud to stand with my colleagues in absolute solidarity with Israel’s right to defend itself. I also commented that every single terrorist that attacked Israel and triggered this war should be eliminated - ALL OF THEM," she said. "Hamas are the ones responsible for all the death on both sides of this conflict. I will continue to call out the brutal attack and continue to fight against the rise in anti-Semitism in our state."
She later posted:
"It’s the most horrific of implications. I am so incredibly sorry for even the slightest of suggestions that I would want an entire community erased. My comments were unapologetically towards the Hamas regime- I NEVER said Palestine. As a wife and mother of a Jew, I stand strong in my support for Israel. But, the heartbreaking loss of Palestinian lives is never a desire of mine."
Nixon is calling for Salzman's censure and resignation.
It's not just about what she says," Nixon said. "It's about what she does and she has a history and a pattern of speaking recklessly and vile things in regards to people who don't agree with what she believes in. And she needs to be gone. She should not be a representative in the Florida legislature."
Northwest Florida Rep. Alex Andrade confirmed he heard Salzman's response to Nixon. He shared this statement with WEAR on Friday:
"Representative Nixon filed an anti-Semitic, offensive resolution that vilified Israel and excused the evil and unfathomable depravity of Hamas. It was a slap in the face to every member of the Legislature, especially those who are Jewish, or like Rep. Salzman, have Jewish family members. I do not believe Rep. Salzman meant Palestinian civilians. I believe her anger was focused on Hamas and anyone else who believes in the eradication of Jews and the state of Israel."
Salzman told the Pensacola News Journal on Friday that she and her family are now receiving security protection from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.