The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) on Wednesday condemned Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for her recent tweet which acknowledged Nakba Day, a day commemorated by Palestinian Arabs to mark what they call the “catastrophe” of the establishment of the State of Israel.
“Today, Palestinians around the world commemorate the Nakba (النكبة), Arabic for “catastrophe” recognizing the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestine,” Tlaib tweeted on May 15th. “~530 Palestinian neighborhoods were uprooted + destroyed +750,000 Palestinians became refugees.”
“It is outrageous that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives would issue a public statement in support of an event that is predicated on denying the legitimacy of the State of Israel, which is one of the United States’ staunchest allies,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss.
“The foundation of Nakba Day is barefaced anti-Semitism and it is disgraceful that Rep. Tlaib continues to embrace opportunities to use her bully pulpit to deprecate Israel and fuel the flames of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world. The real catastrophe is that Rep. Tlaib, who has made no secret of her anti-Israel sentiments in the past, feels emboldened to keep on making comments that are not just antithetical to the United States’ foreign policy doctrines, but that are a direct assault on the State of Israel and her right to exist,” added Weiss.
“We call upon the House leadership to issue a swift and strong denunciation of Rep. Tlaib’s latest anti-Semitic offense and make it abundantly clear that the propagation of this type of prejudice in the halls of Congress will not be tolerated,” Weiss continued.
“In addition, we urge Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic leaders to remove Rep. Tlaib from her assigned committees, just as the House Republicans did when they stripped Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments after he made troubling remarks defending white supremacists. Our congressional leaders must take a stand and unequivocally demonstrate that there are serious consequences for any Member of Congress who engages in anti-Semitism and bigotry of any kind. Opposing Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitic and there should never be a time when anti-Semitism is condoned, rather than condemned.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Conference of Jewish Affairs condemned Tlaib as well and called 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.”
Tlaib is no stranger to controversial comments about Israel. Tlaib claimed in an interview last year that Palestinian Arabs living in the British Mandate prior to the establishment of the State of Israel “provided” a safe haven to Jews after the Holocaust.
In addition, when asked in a past television interview whether she would vote against military aid to Israel when she goes to Congress, Tlaib replied, “Absolutely.”
In August, Israel announced it would bar entry to Tlaib and fellow Muslim Congress woman Ilhan Omar over their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In December, Tlaib appeared to blame the Jersey City shooting on “white supremacy” even though the attackers had been identified as members of an extremist “anti-white and anti-Semitic” movement.
A month later, she retweeted, then removed, a tweet falsely blaming Israelis for the death of an Arab child in eastern Jerusalem.