The average poll results on the November midterm vote hold the Republicans ahead by 3 to 7 seats, but some Democrats want this gap to increase, depriving President Joe Biden’s final two years of any remaining potency. One such eager Dem is Rep. Rashida Tlaib, representing both Michigan’s 13th congressional district and the PLO since 2019. On Monday, Tlaib came up with a novel way to alienate one of the last remaining fervent Democratic voters – American Jews, introducing a House Resolution Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian Refugees’ Rights.
And so, Congress was treated to yet another session of Israel bashing from a member of the Squad, this time regarding Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence, which created a homeland for millions of Jewish refugees from war-battered Europe as well as from the increasingly antisemitic governments of North Africa and the Middle East. The war, which cost about 6,000 Jewish lives (one percent of the country’s population of 600,000 Jews), also resulted in the fleeing of an undetermined number of local Arabs––probably around half a million––who for the most part were not absorbed by their brethren in neighboring Arab countries but were instead relegated to a permanent second class in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
While all over the world and throughout recent history millions of refugees have been helped by charity organizations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to recover from their trauma and start a new life elsewhere, only the fleeing Arabs of the land of Israel were forced into a status of permanent refugees, governed by an exceptional international agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, whose mission is not to rehabilitated and restore its clients but instead to maintain their lives as the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the people who fled Israel in 1948.
Sometime in the 1990s, the PA Arabs started using the term Nakba-Catastrophe, to describe the establishment of the Jewish State, and to many, this catastrophe was not only a one-time historic event but an ongoing trauma that will persist as long as the Jewish State persists in remaining alive. Last Sunday I explained (Tel-Aviv U Arab Students Arrested for Assaulting Jews at ‘Nakba’ Ceremony) that the term “Nakba” was first coined by Konstantin Zoreik, a Syrian professor of Oriental Studies at the American University in Beirut, in his 1948 book, “Maana Al-Nakba” (“The Meaning of the Catastrophe). Zoreik, who wrote his book during the War of Independence, originally referred to the military failure of the invading armies of seven Arab countries to annihilate the fledgling Jewish State.
Congresswoman Tlaib’s resolution commemorates the “Nakba” and promotes better education about and understanding of the 74-year-old event. It also rejects “the efforts of Nakba denialists to enlist the US government’s support for their deeply bigoted historical revisionism.”
Much of the historic debate over the “Nakba” concept has been between the Israeli version that suggests most of the Arabs fled on their own, many believing they would return with the victorious Arab armies and the Arab version that blames the flight on the Israeli army. By now, most legitimate historians agree it was a mix. The fleeing Arabs were intimidated by the advancing Jewish army, and they were also expecting to return victorious. But they didn’t.
The Tlaib 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.” It doesn’t even skip a beat in moving as it does from citing the initial number of refugees as being 800,000 (at least 100,000 more than the maximalist estimate) – to 7 million refugees. It doesn’t even try to explain how one can be a refugee from a country he has never been to. It doesn’t raise the question of what other things can be done for these millions of people other than keeping them in camps where they receive their rations from UNRWA.
Finally, the Tlaib resolution calls on the US to “support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Again, without bothering to explain how there can be “refugees” who never fled from anywhere.
The usual suspects (you could fill them in yourselves) in supporting this effort to scare away Jewish Democrats come November are Representatives Betty McCollum, Marie Newman, Ocasio-Cortez, and Omar, who joined Tlaib in supporting her resolution. The resolution is endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action), Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, Project48, and the United States Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).
Now go vote for your Republican representative to make sure this nonsense is not repeated until the Democratic party grows up.