House Speaker Kevin McCarthy prevented Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s attempt to hold an event titled “Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People” at the Capitol Visitor Center of the U.S. Capitol building which would have brought together anti-Israel groups who decry the founding of Israel as the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, the New York Post reported.
McCarthy pre-empted Tlaib’s event by reserving the space for an event of his own. “This event in the US Capitol is canceled,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced in a tweet on Tuesday. “Instead, I will host a bipartisan discussion to honor the 75th anniversary of the US-Israel relationship.”
“It’s wrong for members of Congress to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Israel,” McCarthy told the Washington Free Beacon. “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 (D-Mich.) had planned the event together with nine anti-Israel groups, which described the event as, “May 15th marks 75 years since the beginning of the Nakba, which means ‘catastrophe.’ Seventy-five years ago, Zionist militias and the new Israeli military violently expelled approximately three-quarters of all Palestinians from their homes and homeland in what became the state of Israel.”
The organizers hoped to convince members of Congress and their staffs on the “ongoing Nakba to which Israel continues to subject Palestinians.”
Liora Rez, the executive director of the nonprofit group StopAntisemitism, said that one of the groups behind the event, the Institute for Middle East Understanding, is “one of the top propagators of false anti-Israel rhetoric on social media.”