McCarthy Blocks Palestinian Event at Capitol

He accuses Tlaib of pushing 'antisemitic tropes about Israel'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2023 7:20 AM CDT
McCarthy Blocks Palestinian Event at Capitol
In this March 6, 2020 photo, Rep. Rashida Tlaib speaks at a campaign rally in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, accusing Rep. Rashida Tlaib of antisemitism, tried to block an event the Democrat had planned to sponsor at the Capitol to mark the 75th anniversary of what Arabs call the Nakba, or "the catastrophe"—the displacement or forced removal of Palestinians when the state of Israel was founded. The Republican's office said he would instead lead a briefing celebrating 75 years of America's relationship with Israel. "It’s wrong for members of Congress to traffic in antisemitic tropes about Israel,” McCarthy said in a statement to CNN. “As long as I’m speaker, we are going to support Israel’s right to self-determination and self-defense, unequivocally and in a bipartisan fashion."

Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, accused McCarthy of trying to "rewrite history and erase the existence and truth of the Palestinian people" and vowed that the event, organized by several Palestinian American groups, would go on, the Detroit News reports. The Nakba, she said, "is a well-documented historical event that is recognized by the United Nations." An estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes or were expelled between 1947 and 1949.

McCarthy blocked the event from the Capitol Visitors Center but it went ahead at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Wednesday evening, the New York Times reports. "It’s ironic we’ve been displaced at our Nakba event,” said one of the speakers, Jumana Musa, per CNN. "They thought they could bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds." (More Rashida Tlaib stories.)

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