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House members led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., introduced a resolution Monday calling for U.S. recognition of the “Nakba,” a term meaning “catastrophe” that is typically used by Palestinians to refer to the establishment of the state of Israel.
The resolution was submitted a week and a half after Israeli Independence Day, which coincides with Palestinian commemoration of Nakba Day. It calls for the U.S. to “commemorate the Nakba through official recognition and remembrance,” while claiming that this “refers not only to a historical event but to an ongoing process of Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land and its dispossession of the Palestinian people that continues to this day.”
“The Palestinian people since the 48 Nakba have been living under oppression and violent racism. Silence + blank checks enables more death and violence,” Tlaib tweeted, referencing the year Israel was created and recognized via a U.N. resolution, and U.S. financial support for the Jewish state.
Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, submitted the resolution on behalf of herself and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Cori Bush, D-Mo., Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., Marie Newman, D-Ill., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn. Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are among a group of left-wing Democrats known as the “Squad,” which has often taken anti-Israel positions.
The resolution claims that Palestinians opposed the U.N.’s 1947 recommendation to partition the territory then known as Palestine into two states, one for Arabs and one for Jews. It states that prior to Israel declaring independence on May 14, 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had fled their homes “often after attacks by Zionist militias.” It does not make reference to the use of some of those areas by invading Arab nations to attack Israel.
The resolution also characterizes the conflict differently than the State Department’s Office of the Historian, which states that after the U.N. resolution, “[f]ighting began with attacks by irregular bands of Palestinian Arabs… against Jewish cities, settlements and armed forces.”
In the aftermath of the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remained displaced, having not been absorbed by neighboring countries. Palestinians continue to call for a right for them and their descendants – now numbering in the millions – to return to homes now located within Israel.