Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democratic Representative, accused Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that he was trying to “erase the experiences” of Palestinians by canceling an event criticizing Israel’s 75th anniversary.
Tlaib spoke at a Wednesday event commemorating Israel’s independence anniversary as a “catastrophe” despite McCarthy’s attempt to cancel the event on Tuesday, in support of Israel. Tlaib replied via Twitter on Thursday, accusing McCarthy that he was trying to hide Israel’s stories about the “trauma” of Palestinians and their “violence”.
Tlaib tweeted about a Palestinian who shared his story at an event. He was eight years old when Israel’s struggle for independence began. “He shared his story of violence, trauma & ongoing pain. McCarthy and others have tried to erase experiences like his, but we did not let this happen. “His smile and his ability to tell his story made the whole thing worth it.”
Tlaib’s event, “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People”, was scheduled to take place on the House of Representatives’ side of the U.S. Capitol. The event was to mark “75 years since beginning of Nakba” (which means “catastrophe”) and “educate Congress” about how “Zionist militias & the new Israeli Military violently expelled around three-quarters of Palestinians to create the nation of Israel” in May 1948. McCarthy heard about the plan, and reserved the space for his event on Tuesday evening to “support Israel’s right to self determination and self defense.”
Tlaib’s event was rescued by Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, allowing Tlaib and event sponsors to rent a room at the U.S. Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions office, which Sanders chairs.
Multiple groups sponsored the event, many of which have a long history of encouraging anti-Israel views. Organisations like the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJPA), Democracy for the Arab World Now, and U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights promote the idea that Israel commits war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians.
Tlaib’s and McCarthy’s response to the Daily Caller News Foundation for a comment was not immediate.