The congresswoman says the move is aimed at recognizing the forced displacement of Palestinians during the establishment of the Israeli state.
Washington D.C.- US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said she introduced a resolution to recognize the Palestinian Nakba, a term used to describe the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the run-up to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.
Tlaib said he introduced the resolution in the US House of Representatives on Monday, a day after Palestinians marked the 74th anniversary of the Nakba.
“The Nakba is well documented and continues to develop today,” Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, wrote On twitter. “We must recognize that the humanity of the Palestinians is denied when people refuse to acknowledge the war crimes and human rights violations in apartheid Israel.”
The Democratic congresswoman said the resolution is co-sponsored by her fellow progressives Betty McCollum, Marie Newman, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Though unlikely to pass in an overwhelmingly pro-Israeli House, Palestinian rights advocates were quick to call the move “historic.”
The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), a think tank that supports Palestinian rights, thanked Tlaib for “giving voice to this reality and highlighting the pain and injustice that Palestinians have suffered.”
RIP: @RepRashida has tabled a historic House resolution recognizing the Nakba, the catastrophe that took place 74 years ago and resulted in the murder of thousands of Palestinians, forcing the expulsion of more than 700,000 from their homes.
— IMEU (@theIMEU) May 16, 2022
“During the creation of Israel, nearly 75% of the Palestinian population was ethnically cleansed from Palestine and over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed,” IMEU said in a series of tweets. “These actions were deliberately planned and carried out by Zionist militias to steal Palestinian land.”
Millions of survivors of the Nakba – catastrophe in Arabic – and their descendants continue to live in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as in neighboring Arab countries.
The Nakba is rarely discussed in mainstream US politics, as Israel has enjoyed broad support from lawmakers and successive presidents of both major parties for decades.
Israel receives $3.8 billion in military aid from the US annually, and this year Washington added another $1 billion in assistance to “restock” Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system after a conflict in Israel. Gaza in May 2021.
Still, in late 2016, in the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency, then-Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged the Nakba in remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“When Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018, the Palestinians will mark a very different anniversary: 70 years since what they call the ‘Nakba,’ or catastrophe,” he said at the time.
Palestinians around the world marked Nakba day on Sunday with rallies emphasizing the right of return for Palestinian refugees. They also demanded justice for Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank last week.
On Monday, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, an advocacy group, called Tlaib’s resolution a “historic moment.”
“For too long, the Palestinian experience has been ignored by Washington, and Palestinians have been criticized for trying to tell their story. Thank you [Tlaib] for giving voice to this reality and highlighting the pain and injustice Palestinians have suffered,” the group wrote on Twitter.
“We must shift US foreign policy away from allowing Israel’s continued displacement of Palestinians with military funds, and toward accountability,” he added.
A historical moment: Today @RepRashida has introduced a House resolution recognizing the Palestinian Nakba in commemoration of the 74th anniversary of this catastrophic crime against the Palestinian people that still continues and shapes their experience today. #Nakba74 pic.twitter.com/QJmpqIfpdp
– #SalvaMasaferYatta USCPR (@USCPR_) May 16, 2022