US Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) on Wednesday salvaged an event planned by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) that called Israel’s establishment a “catastrophe.”
US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy had blocked Tlaib from holding the event at the US Capitol Visitor Center.
The event, which took place on a day in which Palestinian terrorists shot 500 rockets at Israeli civilians, was organized in partnership with organizations that glorify terrorism against Israel and proliferate antisemitic messaging. It was first reported in The Jerusalem Post this week.
However, 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. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) also does not have the jurisdiction to stop chairmen from hosting meetings in their committee rooms.
Rashida Tlaib: The Nakba never ended
“We have a right to tell our stories of the Nakba of 1948... because the Nakba never ended,” Tlaib said.
She acknowledged Sanders’s help, calling him her “aamu,” Arabic for uncle, in the Senate. Sanders did not attend the event.
“No child should ever have to worry what will fall from the sky,” Tlaib said. She accused the Israeli police of a “sustained campaign of terror,” that Israel is an apartheid state and that US aid supports ethnic cleansing, Jewish Insider reported.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri), who attended the event, tweeted earlier this week: “Not a single dollar of US aid should go to funding Israeli apartheid.”
Tlaib tweeted photos from the event with the caption: “Let the headlines read, ‘McCarthy tries to erase Palestine but fails.’”
Despite singling out erasure as a sin, Tlaib herself has been guilty of erasing Israel, such as when she hung a map in her office that depicted the entire land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as Palestinian.
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.”
The “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People” event marked the “catastrophe” – the meaning of the Arabic 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.”
Nakba Day (“Catastrophe Day”) events commemorate the war that led to Israeli independence as a Palestinian tragedy. In 1948, five Arab armies attacked the fledgling Israel, with support from Palestinian leadership.
Among Tlaib’s partners in the event were the NGOs 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, which lionized Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, who died last week after a hunger strike, as well as Ghassan Kanafani, who orchestrated the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre in which 26 people, including 17 US citizens, were murdered.
Throwback to JVP's "L'chaim Intifada" campaign, which openly advocated for and celebrated the murder of fellow Jews. Nothing is more shameful than Jewish groups and seemingly harmless anti-Israel groups on campus who have explicitly willed this violence into reality. https://t.co/d9VFS8CClA pic.twitter.com/CqxoGIkECX— Blake Flayton (@blakeflayton) March 29, 2022
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 (BDS) movement against Israel.