- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy cancelled a Wednesday event sponsored by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib meant to commemorate al-Nakba, or "the catastrophe," as many Arabs refer to the period surrounding the birth of Israel, saying it's "wrong for members of Congress to traffic in antisemitic tropes about Israel."
As Israel was created in 1948, a war broke out between the Israelis and Arabs, and some 700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes in what became the State of Israel. Many Arabs, especially Palestinians, commemorate the displacement every year as Nakba Day.
McCarthy intervened late Tuesday to reserve the Capitol Visitor Center space where Tlaib - the first Palestinian-American US congresswoman - was going to host a Wednesday event, according to a spokesperson for McCarthy.
Tlaib responded in a statement, saying, "Speaker McCarthy wants to rewrite history and erase the existence and truth of the Palestinian people, but he has failed to do so. This event is planned to bring awareness about the Nakba and create space for Palestinian Americans who experienced the Nakba firsthand to tell their stories of trauma and survival."
The congresswoman went on to say that the event will still go forward, but did not specify when or where. CNN has reached out to Tlaib's office to ask for further details.
"We fully plan on moving forward with this event and we will continue to ensure that Palestinian voices are heard. We will not be silenced," Tlaib said in the statement.
Tlaib's event was called "Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People, an educational community event featuring special guest, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib."
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