Kevin McCarthy nixes event featuring anti-Israel groups

House Speaker says planning a bipartisan discussion 'celebrating the 75th anniversary of the US-Israel relationship in place of an event planned by Michigan representative Rashida Tlaim, to mark Palestinian catastrophe

House Speaker McCarthy during a visit to Israel
(צילום: אריק מרמור)
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy canceled an event in Congress, marking the Naqba - the Palestinian catastrophe in 1948, planned by Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib that would include the participation of anti-Israel groups.
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קווין מקארתי בכנסת
קווין מקארתי בכנסת
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy addressing the Knesset
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky )
McCarthy said he would hold an event marking Israel's 75th anniversary, instead.
"This event in the US Capitol is canceled. Instead, I will host a bipartisan discussion to honor the 75th anniversary of the us-Israel relationship," the speaker said on Twitter.
A member of the far-left Squad of congressional lawmakers, the Michigan representative had originally planned to host an event with nine anti-Israel groups titled "Nakba 75 and the Palestinian people".
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הצהרה לעיתונות
הצהרה לעיתונות
Rep. Rashida Tlaib
(Photo: Reuters)
The Arabic term for the events surrounding the founding of the Jewish state is Nakba, which means catastrophe.
Speaking to the conservative political website "Washington Free Beacon", McCarthy said: "It's wrong for members of Congress to traffic in anti-semitic tropes about Israel. 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."
The description for Tlaib's announcement of her upcoming event read: "Seventy-five years ago, the 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."
Claiming their objective was educational, organizers of the now-canceled event said they had hoped to educate members of Congress on the "ongoing Nakba to which Israel continues to subject Palestinians".
The anti-defamation league has noted that one of the groups that were scheduled to appear in the event, called "Jewish Voice for Peace", is a "radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of the state of Israel", that "celebrates figures who have been convicted of engaging in terrorism."
Liora Rez, who is the executive director of a non-profit cold StopAntisemitism, said that another group that was scheduled to appear is called "the Institute for Middle East Understanding," and is one of the top propagators of false anti-Israel rhetoric on social media.
Whether Tlaib's event will be rescheduled currently remains undetermined, as her office did not respond to a request for comment.
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