Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib Reuters

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib came under fire Wednesday for her claims that Israel’s establishment constituted an act of “ethnic cleansing” of “indigenous Palestine”.

Last Friday, the Michigan Democrat tweeted a special “Nakba Day” message on the day after the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of Israel, marking what she called the “ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestine”.

“Today, Palestinians around the world commemorate the Nakba (النكبة), Arabic for ‘catastrophe’ recognizing the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestine. ~530 Palestinian neighborhoods were uprooted + destroyed +750,000 Palestinians became refugees,” Tlaib tweeted.

For years, anti-Israel activists have marked May 15th – the day after the anniversary of Israel’s establishment – as a day of mourning, dubbed the “Nakba Day”.

On Wednesday, the Conference of Jewish Affairs excoriated Tlaib, calling her comments “despicable”.

“Over the weekend Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) made a despicable remark saying the existence of the State of Israel is an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Muslim Arabs,” said Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the CJA.

“This is false, and she knows it. Since the establishment of the State of Israel 70 years ago, the Arab population in the Land of Israel has multiplied six-fold. Muslim Arabs within the Israeli territory have better access to modern amenities than in most places in the Arab world.”

“As the invasion by surrounding Arab states began in 1948, the Israeli government asked its Arab population not to leave. It promised them protection and citizenship; nonetheless many left at the request of Arab attackers who said it would be easier for them to perform their attacks if their Arab brothers were absent the area. Those who left did so of their own free will and with the hope that the Jews would be ethnically cleansed.”

“The fact is that the ethnic cleansing that happened after the establishment of the State of Israel was done to the Jews living in the Arab lands in North Africa and in the Middle East. Muslim countries expelled and threatened their Jewish population. The 850,000 Jews who for over 1,000 years had lived in and contributed to these countries were expelled and ethnically cleansed.”

“The ethnic cleansing going on today in the Middle East and northern Africa is being done mostly by Arab Muslim leaders and jihadists who are systematically purging these areas of age-old Christian communities, indigenous tribes, and remnants of the few Jews remaining in these areas.”

Rabbi Spero added: “When speaking of ethnic cleansing, Rashida Tlaib should look in the mirror and see that it is her ideology that is the greatest perpetrator of ethnic cleansing in the world today.”

Last year, Tlaib was barred from entering Israel, over her vocal support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.