Rashida Tlaib’s Nakba Day resolution opens with a brazen lie: “…the Nakba is the root cause of the issues that continue to divide Israel and the Palestinian people today.”

Column: Multiple Nakbas Imposed Upon American Jews

Rashida Tlaib’s Nakba Day resolution opens with a brazen lie: “…the Nakba is the root cause of the issues that continue to divide Israel and the Palestinian people today.”

The Democratic congresswoman’s resolution for May 15 calls for commemorating the 75th anniversary of “Israel’s uprooting, dispossession, and exile of the Palestinian people from their homeland,” and it warns that “Israeli politicians are increasingly threatening Palestinians with a second Nakba today.”

Nakba is the Arab word for “catastrophe” which describes the Arab world’s failure to destroy Israel at its establishment as a sovereign state in 1948. Unwilling to compromise, the Arabs invaded Israel and ended up with 22 percent of the land, which is split into Gaza and the West Bank (the latter being a disputed term in itself).

The Arab forces created a dreadful fate for their own people, who fled to surrounding countries and were left to their own devices. In their mindset, that makes it a Nakba.

Within the past few weeks, Tlaib and friends managed to impose Nakba-style days upon the American public. An agonizing pattern has emerged in which pro-Palestinian activists have found powerful venues to denounce Jews and Israel. Not merely the town square or the college campus, but now in swift order a New York City Council meeting room, the halls of Congress, the United Nations and the New York statehouse.

That two members of NYC’s City Council would vote against a resolution to end antisemitism was previously recognized in this column. Four others abstained when Council held the vote on April 27, which otherwise passed with 41 votes.

Democratic Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, who voted against the resolution, accused right-wing backers of the bill of hypocrisy by refusing to speak up for Muslims and “trans-New Yorkers.” Councilman Charles Barron, who abstained, slammed Jewish leaders for silence about “Israel murdering Palestinian women and children.”

In a city marked by frequent beatings of identifiable Jews, the resolution will recognize April 29 each year as “End Jew Hatred Day.” The very idea that anyone can oppose ending antisemitism on such a high-level is scary.

Chalk up one Nakba for American Jews.

Our fears soon advanced to alarming as Tlaib hosted an appalling spectacle on Capitol Hill that she dubbed “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People” to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. She also introduced a resolution to mark the Nakba and suspend some forms of defense assistance to Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports. It calls on the United States to “reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Nakba.”

Tlaib, whose family moved from the West Bank to Michigan, was forced to switch sites for her soiree because House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, cancelled her reservation for a room in the Capitol Visitors’ Center. He shared an article that called the May 10 event antisemitic. However, she appealed to Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who found a room for her on the Senate side.

“Let the headlines read ‘McCarthy tries to erase Palestine but fails,’” Tlaib said.

It remains a mystery how McCarthy could erase “Palestine” since no sovereign state with that name exists in the Middle East.

That makes two Nakbas imposed upon us…to be followed up five days later by the MOTHER OF ALL NAKBAS.

In Manhattan, home to an estimated 250,000 Jews, the United Nations gathered on Monday, May 15, to give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a standing ovation and two rounds of long applause after he praised the UN’s resolution to – what else? – recognize the Nakba for the first time in its history.

“The Nakba and the suffering of generations of Palestinians is a story rarely taught in history books,” declared Cheikh Niang, Senegal’s UN ambassador, The New York Times reports.

No wonder the “story (is) rarely taught in history books.” It is a story, or fiction. History must convey facts, not distortions of events.

More than 30 countries objected to Niang’s attitude as ambassadors for America, Canada, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, 10 European Union countries and three African nations boycotted the event.

Niang chairs the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a group composed of 25 member states that was created by a General Assembly mandate to promote the rights of Palestinians and support peace, according to the Times. Members include India, Turkey, South Africa, Venezuela and Malta.

Abbas dismissed any illusions as a peace partner when he told the UN: “This resolution represents a recognition by your organizations of the ongoing historic injustice that fell on the Palestinian people in 1948 and before that date, and that continues after.” He labeled the commemoration as a rebuttal “for the first time by you of the Israeli Zionist narrative that denies this Nakba.”

As Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan responded in a video statement: “Attending this despicable event means destroying any chance of peace by adopting the Palestinian narrative calling the establishment of the state of Israel a disaster.”

In an anti-climactic but no less ominous action, two New York state lawmakers introduced legislation to bar New York-based charitable groups from participating in “unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.”

The New York Post reported last week, May 16, that Queens Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani and Brooklyn Sen. Jabari Brisport wrote in a memo that their bill “would give the state attorney general the authority to revoke a charity’s tax-exempt status, if involved in aiding the expansion of Israel-only settlements that displace Palestinians.”

Brisport and Mamdani charged that tax-exempt organizations in New York funnel money to settlements that entrench “Israel’s apartheid rule.” “New York state is effectively subsidizing these atrocities,” they wrote.

We might count ourselves lucky that New York state charities are safe from anti-Israel monitoring, that the vast majority of NYC councilmembers oppose antisemitism, and that Nakba Day will not be recognized by Congress anytime soon. Or that western nations did not join in observance of Nakba Day in the United Nations.

How lucky can the Jewish community be when anyone who is at best misguided or plainly antisemitic hold such responsible positions?

About Bruce Ticker

Bruce S. Ticker, who writes from Philadelphia, also blogs for The San Diego Jewish World and Smirking Chimp and previously for the suspended Philadelphia Jewish Voice. He was previously a reporter and copy editor for daily newspapers in eastern Pennsylvania.

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