Rep. Rashida Tlaib. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Rashida Tlaib

Coalition for Jewish Values says Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s failure to condemn the event is ‘shameful’ and  ‘sends a troubling message.’

By United with Israel staff and Andrew Bernard, The Algemeiner

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Wednesday evening held an event commemorating the ‘Nakba,’ an Arabic word meaning ‘catastrophe’ that refers to the founding of the state of Israel, with the help of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) after Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy blocked the event’s original venue.

Tlaib and the event’s organizers – a group of pro-Palestinian NGOs including the Institute for Middle East Understanding and Americans for Justice in Palestine Action – originally tried to host the event in the auditorium of the Capitol Hill Visitors Center.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said that the event was “canceled” and that he would instead host a bipartisan discussion honoring 75 years of the US-Israel relationship.

But the event went ahead on Wednesday after relocating to the hearing room of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the ranking member of the HELP committee, said in a statement that he was unaware of the event and was not consulted by Sen. Sanders about holding it in the HELP hearing room.

“I wholeheartedly disapprove of the Majority permitting the use of the HELP Committee room for this divisive event,” Cassidy said. “The Capitol Grounds should not be used as a pedestal to legitimize anti-Semitic bigotry.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an organization which advocates “classical Jewish ideas and standards in matters of American public policy,” criticized Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s failure to condemn the event.

“One can give Majority Leader Schumer the benefit of the doubt; perhaps he simply did not know that his colleague Bernie Sanders would host Rashida Tlaib and her antisemitic cabal in his committee hearing room. It is Schumer’s failure to condemn this event, now that he does know, that is shameful,” CJV said.

CJV noted it had written a letter to Schumer over his silence. “‘As hundreds of missiles fired by genocidal terrorists rained down on Israel,’ we wrote, ‘Rashida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, and a collection of hate groups gathered to say that Jewish children are ‘occupiers’ in their homeland and deserve to be terrorized and killed. … Will you now publicly condemn this propaganda exercise and its open incitement against Jews, as we requested of you two days ago? You surely know that further silence sends a troubling message of its own.’

“Schumer often reminds the Jewish community that his last name comes from the Hebrew word Shomer, a watchman. ‘Yet,’ we added, ‘the notions of bipartisan support for Israel and that hatred should not be promoted in Congress were both actively undermined on Wednesday evening, May 10, on your watch. This moment demands your response,'” CJV wrote.

CJV added that “too often, the Left and their allies in the media take only one side to task. They demand that Republicans address the failings of their colleagues, yet they ignore open bigotry from the Left.”

“Leader Schumer’s response is overdue. It is long past time for him to place justice and principle ahead of his political affiliations,” CJV concluded.