After Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) canceled a “Nakba Day” event to be hosted at the U.S. Capitol, featuring a presentation by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the Senate wound up providing a new venue for it.
The event, called “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People,” took place on Wednesday night with the sponsorship of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Hearing Room, located at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) also attended.
During her speech, Tlaib said that the nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic and refers to the establishment of the modern-day State of Israel, “never ended.”
“Each year, our country sends billions to explicitly maintain an apartheid state and support ethnic cleansing without a second thought,” she continued.
The use of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” falsehoods were similar to accusations Tlaib made on Twitter earlier this month and that earned the rebuke of Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan.
The nine sponsors of the event were Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU); Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action); Project48; Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN); US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR); American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR); Emgage Action; and Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action).
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he disapproved of the event, adding that “the Capitol grounds should not be used as a pedestal to legitimize antisemitic bigotry.”