Rashida Tlaib: ‘Listen to These Palestinian Voices Living Under Israel’s Violent Apartheid Government’

By CNSNews.com Staff | May 14, 2021 | 2:37pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D.-Mich.) sent out a tweet on Friday calling on people to listen to “these Palestinian voices living under Israel’s violent apartheid government.”

On Thursday evening, Tlaib had forwarded a tweet put out by Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian American who is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, in which Sarsour said: “I love you @Rashida Tlaib.”

Sarsour’s tweet including a video of a speech Tlaib gave on the House floor on Thursday criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

“Detroit taught me to always speak truth to power even if my voice shakes,” Tlaib said in her Thursday tweet. “I am who I am because of Palestinian seeds + my Detroit roots.

“I told my sity Muftieh that I stand here (on the House floor) because of her,” said Tlaib.

“From Detroit to Gaza, we will be free,” she said. “#FreePalestine.”

“To all: Listen to these Palestinian voices living under Israel’s violent apartheid government that continues to be funded by our own country without any accountability, or even acknowledgement,” said Tlaib.

“Colleagues, Palestinians aren’t going anywhere no matter how much money you send to Israel’s apartheid government,” Tlaib said in her Thursday floor speech.

“If we are to make good on our promises to support equal human rights for all, it is our duty to end the apartheid system that for decades has subjected Palestinians to inhumane treatment and racism,” she said.

“Reducing Palestinians to live in utter fear and terror of losing a child, being indefinitely detained or killed because of who they are, and the unequal rights and protections they have under Israeli law. It must end.

“One of Israel’s most prominent human rights organizations, B’Tselem, has declared Israel an apartheid state. Human Rights Watch recently recog-nized it, too,” said Tlaib. “This is what Palestinians living under Israel’s oppression have been telling us for decades.

“I have been told by some of my colleagues who dispute the truth about segregation, racism, and violence in Israel toward Palestinians that I need to know the history,” she said. “What they mean, unintentionally or not, is that Palestinians do not have the right to tell the truth about what happened to them during the founding of Israel. They, in effect, erase the truth about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Israel that some refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe.

“Above all, there has been absolutely no recognition of Palestinian humanity,” said Tlaib.

“If our own State Department can’t even bring itself to acknowledge that the killing of Palestinian children is wrong, well, I will say it for the millions of Americans who stand with me against the killing of innocent children no matter their ethnicity or faith,” said Tlaib.

“I weep for all the lives lost under the unbearable status quo, every single one, no matter their faith or their background,” she said.

“We all deserve freedom, liberty, peace, and justice, and it should never be denied because of our faith or ethnic background,” she said.

“No child, Palestinian or Israeli or whoever they are, should ever have to worry that death will rain from the sky,” said Tlaib. “How many of my colleagues are willing to say the same, to stand for Palestinian human rights as they do for Israelis? There is a crushing dehumanization to how we talk about this terrible violence.”

Here is the transcript of part of Tlaib’s speech where she claims that Israel has an “apartheid system:”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D.-Wisc.): I would like to now yield to my colleague from Michigan (Ms. TLAIB), the first Palestinian American to serve in Congress, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D.-Mich.): “Thank you so much, Mark. I’m actually I believe the second, but I am the only Palestinian-American Member of Congress now, and my mere existence has disrupted the status quo. This is so personal for me. I am a reminder to colleagues that Palestinians do, indeed, exist, that we are human, that we are allowed to dream. We are mothers, daughters, granddaughters, we are justice seekers and are unapologetic about our fight against oppressions of all forms.

“And, colleagues, Palestinians aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much money you send to Israel’s apartheid government. If we are to make good on our promises to support equal human rights for all, it is our duty to end the apartheid system that, for decades, has subjected Palestinians to inhumane treatment and racism. Reducing Palestinians to live in utter fear and terror of losing a child, being indefinitely detained or killed because of who they are, and the un-equal rights and protections they have, under Israeli law, it must end. One of Israel’s most prominent human rights organizations, B’Tselem, has declared Israel an apartheid state. Human Rights Watch recently recognized it, too. This is what Palestinians living under Israel’s oppression have been telling us for decades.

“I have been told by some of my colleagues who dispute the truth about segregation, racism, and violence in Israel toward Palestinians that I need to know the history. What they mean, unintentionally or not, is that Palestinians do not have the right to tell the truth about what happened to them during the founding of Israel. They, in effect, erase the truth about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Israel that some refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe. As Palestinians talk about our history, know that many of my Black neighbors and indigenous communities may not know what we mean by Nakba, but they do understand what it means to be killed, expelled from your homeland, made homeless, and stripped of your human rights. My ancestors and current family in Palestine deserve the world to hear their history without obstruction. They have a right to be able to explain to the world that they are still suffering, still being dispossessed, still being killed as the world watches and does nothing.

“As Peter Beinart, an American of Jewish faith, writes: ‘When you tell a people to forget its past, you are not proposing peace. You are proposing extinction.’ The Palestinian story is that of being made a refugee on the lands you called home. We cannot have an honest conversation about U.S. military support for the Israeli Government today without acknowledging that, for Palestinians, the catastrophe of displacement and dehumanization in their homeland has been ongoing since 1948.

"To read the statements from President Biden, Secretary Blinken, General Austin, and leaders of both parties, you would hardly know Palestinians existed at all. There has been no recognition of the attack on Palestinian families being ripped from their homes in East Jerusalem right now or home demolitions; no mention of children being detained or murdered; no recognition of a sustained campaign of harassment and terror by Israeli police against worshipers kneeling down and praying and celebrating their holiest days in one of their holiest places; no mention of Al- Aqsa being surrounded by violence, tear gas, and smoke while people pray. Can my colleagues imagine if it was their place of worship filled with tear gas? Could you pray as stun grenades were tossed into your holiest place? Above all, there has been absolutely no recognition of Palestinian humanity. If our own State Department can’t even bring itself to acknowledge that the killing of Palestinian children is wrong, well, I will say it for the millions of Americans who stand with me against the killing of innocent children no matter their ethnicity or faith. I weep for all the lives lost under the unbearable status quo, every single one, no matter their faith or their background. We all deserve freedom, liberty, peace, and justice, and it should never be denied because of our faith or ethnic background.

"No child, Palestinian or Israeli or whoever they are, should ever have to worry that death will rain from the sky. How many of my colleagues are willing to say the same, to stand for Palestinian human rights as they do for Israelis? There is a crushing dehumanization to how we talk about this terrible violence.”

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