ADL Letter to The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Re: Nakba Day Event at the Capitol

May 9, 2023

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I write to alert you to an event featuring Representative Rashida Tlaib that is taking place on Wednesday, May 10th at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center entitled, "Nakba 75 & the Palestinian People.”

In previous years, many Nakba Day events have devolved into hateful, anti-Israel and even antisemitic language. Just last year, in May 2022, speakers at Nakba Day events across the country variously referred to Israelis as the “stench of white European invaders,” called for “death to Israel” and stated that “everyone should fight within his means. They will fight with stones. Others will fight with guns. Others will fight with planes, drones. And others will fight with rockets.”

Moreover, we know that Representative Tlaib herself has used incendiary and offensive language about Israel (using the “Apartheid” slander as recently as this week).

Finally, we are concerned that the co-organizers and certain speakers have a record of rhetoric that demonizes and delegitimizes Israel, as well as dangerous stereotypes about Israel’s supporters. These organizations include Jewish Voice for Peace Action and Americans for Justice in Palestine Action. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) advocates for the boycott of Israel and eradication of Zionism and does not represent the mainstream Jewish community, which JVP characterizes as bigoted for its association with Israel and Zionism. Americans for Justice in Palestine Action is an affiliate of American Muslims for Palestine, an anti-Israel organization that has explicitly called for a boycott of most of the “Zionist” American Jewish community, including Jewish Federations, the Jewish Community Relations Council and Hillel. Both AMP leaders and JVP have espoused classic antisemitic tropes and expressed support for violence against Israel. Examples of such rhetoric from these two organizations include:

  • May 2022: On Instagram, JVP posted a cartoon depicting Israeli soldiers joyously drinking the blood of dead Palestinians.
  • August 2021: AMP Chairman Hatem Bazian re-tweeted an antisemitic cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier organ harvesting the heart of a deceased Palestinian man. 

This event is happening tomorrow. I ask that greater scrutiny be given to such events, including this one, in the Capitol Complex to ensure that that Congressional controlled areas are not being used to espouse discriminatory and hateful rhetoric. I appreciate your attention to this matter.


Jonathan Greenblatt
CEO and National Director

Cc:  Hakeem Jeffries