Rashida Tlaib attended 'Nakba' Rally that had calls for violence

"Fedayeen are setting out from the land of 1948. They are striking them with knives and their bare hands, and they are victorious!" said Arab American News publisher Osama Siblani.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-Michigan) speaks at a climate rally in Iowa in January. (photo credit: SCOTT MORGAN/REUTERS)
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-Michigan) speaks at a climate rally in Iowa in January.
(photo credit: SCOTT MORGAN/REUTERS)

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and local politicians attended a "Nakba Day" rally in Dearborn, Michigan that saw one speaker call for violence on May 15.

"Everyone should fight within his means,"  Arab American News publisher Osama Siblani said in a video on rally organizer New Generation for Palestine's Facebook page. "They will fight with stones. Others will fight with guns. Others will fight with planes. Drones. And others will fight with rockets! And others will fight in their voice. And others will fight with their hands and say free, free Palestine!"

"They thought that 1948 was the demarcation line. They thought we forgot. Now surprise, Fedayeen are setting out from the land of 1948. They are striking them with knives and their bare hands, and they are victorious! Arab American News publisher"

Osama Siblani, May 15, translated by MEMRI TV

Crowds cheered for Siblani's speech, and there was no visible or audible opposition. Siblani's outlet is one of the oldest Arabic newspapers in the US, according to event organizers. 

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) condemned Siblani and questioned whether Tlaib condoned the publisher's incitement to violence. 

"Congresswoman Tlaib shared a stage with a man who was literally shouting for violence in Michigan"

CAMERA communication director Jonah Cohen

“By sharing a platform with such a demagogue, Tlaib has given an air of legitimacy to his appalling calls for bloodshed in America," said Cohen. "Extremist rhetoric like his has led to a spike in antisemitic hate crimes across the nation.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) participates in a House Financial Services Committee hearing with Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019 (credit: ERIN SCOTT/REUTERS)Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) participates in a House Financial Services Committee hearing with Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019 (credit: ERIN SCOTT/REUTERS)

Tlaib spoke at the rally, called the "March for Jerusalem" — which was held for the second time in a year, first established during 2021's summer unrest in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, and eventually Gaza. 

Other politicians that spoke at the rally included Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, city councilpersons Mustapha Hammoud and Erin Byrnes, and a representative of US congressional candidate Huwaida Arraf.

When Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in Jenin earlier in May during combat between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, it appears based on promotional images the event was altered to rally around Abu Akleh's death and serve as a memorial for her.

The event was held on Nakba Day, which commemorates the Nakba – the establishment of the State of Israel and the exodus of Palestinian refugees caused by the 1948 War of Independence when the nascent state was attacked by several of its Arab neighbors. Nakba Day is held every May 15.

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