US Representative Rashida Tlaib held a “Nakba Day” event at the US Capitol, which portrays the Palestinians as victims rather than parties of a conflict with Israel.
US Representative Rashida Tlaib planned to hold an event in the Capitol opposing Israel’s establishment. Though US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy had blocked Tlaib from holding the event at the US Capitol Visitor Center, US Senator Bernie Sanders let her hold the event in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing room, which he chairs and where McCarthy does not have the authority to block an event, reports The Jerusalem Post.
The “Nakba 75 & The Palestinian People” was set for Wednesday to mark the “catastrophe” – the meaning of the word Nakba – of Israel’s establishment. These events portray the Palestinians as victims rather than parties of a conflict with Israel.
Organisations supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel and NGOs that have expressed support for terrorism partnered with Representative Tlaib to organise the event.
Since events at the Capitol Visitor Center can only be held by request from a member of the US Congress or an Officer of Congress, Tlaib’s direct involvement in organising the event.
“We have a right to tell our stories of the Nakba of 1948… because the Nakba never ended,” Tlaib said, adding that “No child should ever have to worry what will fall from the sky,” accusing the Israeli police of a “sustained campaign of terror,” claiming that Israel is an apartheid state and that US aid supports ethnic cleansing.
Tlaib acknowledged Sanders’s help, calling him her “aamu,” Arabic for uncle, in the Senate. Sanders did not attend the event.
Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinians; her grandmother lives in the West Bank. She has repeatedly come under fire for remarks about Israel and Jews and even Holocaust distortion. Tlaib hung a map in her office that did not have Israel on it, indicating a view that the whole land is Palestine, and has repeatedly called Israel an apartheid state.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement: “It is disgraceful that Sen. Sanders allowed this event by Rep. Rashida to be held in our nation’s Capitol. Real conversations are needed around a path to peace, but not with groups & individuals who espouse antisemitism. We call on the Senate to condemn this event.”
According to US Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), “There is strong bipartisan support in Congress for the US-Israel relationship, and no effort that attempts to rewrite history and question Israel’s right to exist has any hope of succeeding.
Photo credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook