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Tlaib’s new Nakba resolution accuses Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing

The resolution also suggests that Palestinians are the only group indigenous to the area

ALI KHALIGH/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Rashida Tlaib

A new resolution expected to be introduced by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) endorses the right of return for Palestinians to Israel and accuses Israel of genocide and ongoing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians since before its inception. It also suggests Palestinians are the only group indigenous to the area.

The resolution, a draft of which was shared with Jewish Insider, “recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian refugees’ rights,” refers to the term, translating to “catastrophe” that Palestinians use to refer to the founding of Israel and affiliated displacement of Palestinians.

The draft resolution began circulating on Wednesday to other Democratic offices for their support. Tlaib and congressional allies have introduced similar resolutions around Nakba Day — which coincides with Israeli Independence Day — in the past. They have generally been highly controversial.

The legislation declares “Palestinian refugees’ right of return is not only stipulated in a General Assembly resolution, but is also anchored in international law and in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” It states that “a just and lasting resolution requires respect for and the implementation of” full right of return for Palestinians.

The resolution continues, “the apartheid government of Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinian people which as of May 14, 2024 has killed at least 35,000 people, including more than 14,500 children” — relying on a count of child casulaties no longer utilized by the United Nations.

It further states that “the Nakba 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 resolution describes Israeli settlements and outposts as “another form of ethnic cleansing used to perpetuate the Nakba.”


The legislation states that the U.N. General Assembly’s 1947 partition plan for Palestine was enacted “against the wishes of Palestine’s majority indigenous inhabitants.” It also states that Israel’s founding and the subsequent war — launched by Arab states — against Israel displaced “at least 750,000 Palestinian refugees (roughly 75 percent of the indigenous population that had lived in areas that became Israel).”

The language suggests that Palestinians are the only population indigenous to the territory, and that Jews are not.

The legislation also offers support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, describing it as providing “much needed social services to 5,700,000 Palestinian refugees today,” offering no acknowledgement of the scandals currently plaguing the U.N. body.

It calls for the U.S. to officially support the right of return, commemorate the Nakba, denounce the “ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian people;” promote education about the Nakba, support resumed U.S. funding to UNRWA, “recognize that Palestinians are a unique people who are every bit as human as everyone else” and “reject bigoted efforts to question, dismiss or otherwise deny the existence of Palestinians and their humanity.”

A Dear Colleague note from Tlaib shared with Democratic offices states that “the Nakba never ended” and repeats claims about the “indigenous population.”

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