WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced a House Resolution Recognizing the Ongoing Nakba and Palestinian Refugees’ Rights, and released the following statement on the 75th year of the Nakba:
“True peace can only be built on truth and justice. As we mark 75 years since the horror of the Nakba, we honor the thousands of lives lost, and the nearly 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes and violently displaced from their communities during this period of intense ethnic cleansing.
“The Nakba is a well-established historical fact and will be recognized by a United Nations event next week. As Peter Beinart writes, ‘When you tell a people to forget its past you are not proposing peace, you are proposing extinction.’
“Our hope is to create opportunities for Palestinians, both here at home and abroad, who continue to experience the impacts of the Nakba, to tell their stories. The trauma and painful loss of their connections to family, villages they grew up in, and so much more needs to be acknowledged, not only for healing, but also to create an honest pathway for peace.”
The Nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and homeland during Israel’s creation (1947-49). The Nakba did not end in 1948, but continues to this day in the form of Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for illegal settlements and segregated communities in the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, its destruction of Palestinian homes and seizure of agricultural land, revocation of residency rights, periodic brutal military assaults that result in mass civilian casualties, and the denial of the internationally-recognized legal right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees. To this day, the Israeli government continues to deny generations of Palestinians, whose ancestors were forced to flee violent militias, the right to live in and even freely visit their homeland.
Congresswoman Tlaib’s resolution commemorates the Nakba and promotes better education about and understanding of the tragedy. The resolution also calls on the United States to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides social services to a large number of the over 7 million Palestinian refugees, and to support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This legislation is cosponsored by Congressmembers Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Betty McCollum, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar.
The resolution is endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Institute for Middle East Understanding, Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP Action), Project48, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR), Emgage Action, American Muslims for Palestine, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hindus for Human Rights, and The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development.
The full text of the resolution can be found here.