On Monday, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House commemorating and recognizing the 74th anniversary of the Nakba this past Sunday.
The Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine to make way for Israel’s creation (1947-49).
The resolution was titled “Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian Refugees’ Rights.”
That event led way to Israel’s current occupation and system of apartheid over Palestinians, including illegal settlements and segregated communities in the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, destruction of Palestinian homes and agricultural land, revocation of residency rights, deportations, periodic brutal military assaults that result in mass civilian casualties such as the ones that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2014 and spring of 2021.
Israel has also denied the internationally-recognized legal right of return of millions of stateless Palestinian refugees.
“This Sunday was a day of solemn remembrance of all the lives lost, families displaced and neighborhoods destroyed during the violence and horror of the Nakba,” Tlaib wrote. “The scars borne by the close to 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their family homes and their communities, and those killed are burned into the souls of the people who lived through the Nakba.”
Tlaib also pointed to last week’s killing of prominent Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli occupation forces, who were raiding a home in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
“The violence and war crimes are an ongoing and ever-present assault on the existence and humanity of the Palestinian people,” Tlaib said. “The Israeli apartheid government’s ongoing ethnic cleansing seeks to degrade Palestinian humanity and break the will of the people to be free. Fortunately, as Palestinians and their allies prove time and time again, we will persist no matter the circumstances until peace, freedom, equity and respect for all people are secured and protected.”
The Israeli apartheid government’s ongoing ethnic cleansing seeks to degrade Palestinian humanity and break the will of the people to be free. — U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit)
The resolution commemorates the Nakba and promotes better education about and understanding of the tragedy while rejecting the efforts of those who deny the Nakba and enlist the U.S. government’s support for their “deeply bigoted historical revisionism.”
It also calls for the U.S. to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides social services to a large number of the more than 7 million Palestinian refugees, and to support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The resolution was supported by U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-MO) and endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action), Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, Project48 and the United States Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).
“Without addressing the Nakba and the ongoing attempts by the Israeli government to continue displacing Palestinians to this day, there cannot be a truly just and sustainable peace,” said Stefanie Fox, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace Action.
On Monday, The Intercept learned from sources that U.S. Reps. André Carson (D-IN) and Lou Correa (D-CA) were gathering signatures to a letter, addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, demanding an investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing.
Though originally blaming Palestinian fighters in Jenin, Israel later conceded that an Israeli soldier might have been responsible for the killing. Fellow journalists on the ground, one of whom was also shot in the back, have said Israeli forces opened fire at them and that no Palestinian fighters were in the vicinity at the time of the shooting.
On Friday, Israeli police beat mourners during Abu Akleh’s funeral procession in her native Jerusalem, including the pallbearers, causing them to momentarily drop the casket, as shown in disturbing videos and photos that drew international outrage.
An official Twitter account for the Israeli police justified the attack with selectively edited footage to make it appear as though a funeral attendee waving his arms in frustration had thrown a rock, but the full video posted by Twitter user Rafael Shimunov showed no rock was hurled.
The @israelpolice claimed this was one of the "stone" throwers that sparked their attack.
I synced their video with press video to prove
1) he had no stone
2) his action was putting his body between them and Shireen Abu Akleh's casket
(thread coming) pic.twitter.com/KesaTsNDYZ
— Rafael Shimunov (@rafaelshimunov) May 14, 2022