US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy canceled an event marking the “catastrophe” of Israel’s establishment scheduled to be held in Congress with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Wednesday.
The event, organized in partnership with organizations that glorify terrorism against Israel and send antisemitic messages, was first reported in The Jerusalem Post this week.
"The event in the US Capitol is canceled," McCarthy tweeted on Tuesday. "Instead, I will host a bipartisan discussion to honor the 75th anniversary of the US-Israel relationship."
"The event in the US Capitol is canceled. Instead, I will host a bipartisan discussion to honor the 75th anniversary of the US-Israel relationship."Kevin McCarthy
Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar told Jewish Insider that "people should be allowed to meet, to congregate, to have discussions, to express their viewpoints and ideas...That doesn't mean that I agree with everything every member in my caucus says...but broadly our job is to try to help facilitate those conversations when members have guests and groups visit."
Tlaib's office did not respond to a request for comment.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that he is "grateful Speaker McCarthy took rapid action. There's room to talk about the issues - but not at an event co-sponsored by people who traffic in antisemitism and hate."
What was the Nakba Day event?
The “Nakba 75 & The Palestinian People” event was set for Wednesday, to remember the “catastrophe” – the meaning of the word Nakba – of Israel’s establishment in 1948.
The event invitation deplores “Zionist militias” and the IDF, falsely claiming that they “violently expelled approximately three-quarters of all Palestinians.” The plan was to “educate Members of Congress and their staff about this history and the ongoing Nakba to which Israel continues to subject Palestinians.”
It was meant to be held in a 400-seat auditorium in the US Capitol Visitor Center, which can only be used by request from a member of the US Congress or an Officer of Congress, indicating Tlaib’s direct involvement in organizing the event.
“Nakba Day” events portray the Palestinians as victims, rather than parties to a conflict with Israel. In 1948, five Arab armies attacked the fledgling Israel, with support from Palestinian leadership.
Tlaib’s partners in organizing the event include organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, which has glorified the First Intifada in which Palestinians killed close to 300 Israelis, and the Institute for Middle East Understanding lionized the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan that died last week after a hunger strike and Ghassan Kanafani, who orchestrated the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre in which 26 people, including 17 US citizens, were murdered.
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action wrote a report lamenting the influence of Jews' political donations.
Most of the NGOs involved support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
Likud MK Dan Illouz thanked McCarthy for canceling the event and for "standing strong with the State of Israel. Moments like these are when we see who are our strongest allies. Speaker McCarthy, you are a true friend of Israel."
Democratic Majority for Israel, which backs Democratic Candidate parties that support Israel, said that “unfortunately, Congresswoman Tlaib has a long history of misrepresenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. DMFI has regularly condemned her false narratives which are not only dangerous but make peace harder to achieve.”
Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinians, whose grandmother lives in the West Bank. She has repeatedly come under fire for remarks related to 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. She played into the antisemitic canard that shadowy, greedy Jews control the world by referring to people "behind the curtain" who "exploit the rest of us for their own profit... They do it from Gaza to Detroit,” and she said anyone who supports Israel is not welcome in progressive circles.
The member of Congress once said she has a "calming feeling" about the Holocaust, claiming that Palestinians created "a safe haven for Jews... I love the fact that my ancestors provided that." In fact, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini collaborated with Hitler, organizing Muslim SS divisions. Adolf Eichmann said, upon a visit to the Middle East, that "Nazi flags fly in Palestine."