US Congress must understand ‘trauma’ of Nakba, Rashida Tlaib says | Al-Nakba News

The US lawmaker, who introduced a resolution recognizing the displacement of Palestinians, told Al Jazeera that ‘Nakba has not stopped’.

Washington DC – It is important for US legislators to understand the “trauma and pain” of Nakba of the PalestiniansCongressman Rashida Tlaib has said, urging Washington to condition aid to Israel on its rights record.

Tlaib introduced a congressional resolution earlier this week to officially recognize Nakba, the site of the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

“Nakba hasn’t stopped yet,” the Palestinian woman congresswoman told Al Jazeera in an interview this week.

“We continue to see displacement… literally pushing people out of their homes – the homes they have lived in for generations – [and] from their homeland,” she said, referring to Israeli efforts to coerce get rid of Palestinian families from the vicinity of occupied East Jerusalem.

“The impact on people’s dignity when that happens, the effects on their children, their families, that’s very important because many of my colleagues don’t even know what the word ‘Nakba’ means, ‘ said Tlaib.

“I want them to understand what the Palestinian liberation movement is, what human rights for Palestinians really are, and that means understanding historically what has happened to Palestinians since 1948.”

Millions survivors of Nakba – “catastrophe” in Arabic – and their descendants continue to live in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as in neighboring Arab countries.

Nakba is rarely discussed in mainstream US politics, as Israel has enjoyed widespread support from legislators and successive presidents of both major parties for decades.

That is why Palestinian human rights organizations hailed the introduction of Tlaib’s resolution on Monday, a day later. 74th anniversary of Nakba, as “history”.

So far, House members Marie Newman, Betty McCollum, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush and Ilhan Omar – all progressive Democrats – have all signed off on the measure.

“No one should be evicted from their home,” Bowman wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

“Today, I am proud to be the original sponsor of a resolution recognizing the Palestinian Nakba, commemorating the 74th anniversary of the tragedy where 700,000 Palestinians fled and were expelled from their homes, making them human refugee.”

Newman also said she is proud to support this solution. “We cannot understand the current conflict without acknowledging it the tragedy of Nakba“She tweeted.

Tlaib said she is confident that the list of co-sponsors for the Nakba resolution will grow in the coming weeks.

“The American people are with us,” she told Al Jazeera. “More and more Americans across our country want us to recognize human rights for Palestinians, want our country to be a good player in promoting human rights for all – not just for some countries”.

Tlaib notes that major human rights groups – most recently Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Israeli group B’Tselem – have accused Israel of committing racist acts against Palestinians.

She said Washington must stop giving Israel a “white check” and should instead use aid as “leverage” to promote Palestinian human rights.

Israel received US$3.8 billion in military aid annually, and this year Washington added another 1 billion dollars to “replenish” Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system after the Gaza conflict in May 2021.

President Joe Biden and his top aides have completely ruled out conciliating or redistributing support to Israel, repeatedly asserting that Washington’s commitment to Israel is “incorrect”.

Tlaib says understanding the root cause of any problem is essential for policymakers.

“We should not fund a racist government,” she said.

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