Palestinian-American Congresswoman hosts Nakba Day anniversary in US
Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has hosted an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of Nakba Day, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homeland by Israelis.
The event—dubbed “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People”—was held as scheduled in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Dozens of people attended the event with several standing around the edges of the room and spilling outside the door.
The event featured Nakba survivors as well as academics and activists who stressed that the dispossession of Palestinians has not stopped.
“We have a right to tell our stories of the Nakba,… because the Nakba never ended,” Tlaib told the packed room.
This comes as US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had claimed in a post on his Twitter account a day earlier that the event has been canceled, arguing that, “It’s wrong for members of Congress to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Israel.”
“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,” he said.
Tlaib responded in a statement: “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.”
The Nakba Day or the Day of Catastrophe is officially marked every year on May 15, one day after the Israeli regime came into existence in 1948.
Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands in 1948 and were scattered across refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Palestine’s neighboring countries. Over five million Palestinian refugees are estimated to be still displaced.
Palestinians and their supporters across the globe hold rallies and other events on Nakba Day.