WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) and Cori Bush (MO-01) released a joint statement on boycotting Israeli President Herzog’s joint address to Congress:
“Bestowing President Herzog with the rare honor of a joint address to Congress while the Israeli apartheid government continues to enable and directly support racism and brutal settler attacks is a slap in the face to victims, survivors, and their loved ones—including the families of Americans murdered by this regime like Shireen Abu Akleh and Omar Assad.
“It’s contradictory to claim to support human rights when you’re arming the oppressors with billions of dollars of bullets and bombs. It is hypocritical to claim to be deeply concerned about attacks on Palestinian families, and then smile for a photo op with the president of the government enabling these human rights abuses and maintaining the status quo.
“The facts are clear, and the international consensus is resounding—Israel is an apartheid state. To assert otherwise in the face of the colossal body of evidence and the consensus of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem—the largest human rights organization in Israel—and countless others is to deny this reality.
“This year alone, the far-right Israeli government has approved the construction of over 13,000 illegal settlement units on Palestinian land—which the U.S. government has repeatedly condemned—and the Israeli army has killed at least 177 Palestinians. Members of the far-right Israeli government have made disgusting statements dehumanizing and denying the existence of Palestinians, calling for Palestinian villages to be “erased,” celebrating nationalist racists, and promising that a fully sovereign Palestinian state will not be created. This is the government that we are protesting.
“Bipartisanship must not be used as a justification for apartheid. It’s important to remember that South Africa’s apartheid government also had bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress. It is shameful to deliberately ignore—and even normalize—this racist and oppressive system of apartheid by welcoming President Herzog or any member of the Israeli government to address Congress. In solidarity with the Palestinian people and all those who have been harmed by the Israeli apartheid government and their policies, we will be boycotting President Herzog’s joint address to Congress.
When violence occurs at the hand of the state against marginalized communities anywhere, we speak up. We do not look the other way. Racism and oppression must not be tolerated in America or anywhere else in the world. We urge all Members of Congress who stand for human rights for all to join us in boycotting apartheid.”