Democrat Rep. Pete Aguilar of California defended Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan Wednesday for hosting an event marking Israel’s independence anniversary as a “catastrophe,” according to Jewish Insider.
The event was set to feature Tlaib, who is Palestinian, to educate members of Congress on the human rights abuses allegedly committed against Palestinians by Israel, calling the anniversary of the Jewish state’s independence the “nakba” or “catastrophe.” Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy of California initially put a stop to the event, which was to be held at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, on Tuesday evening, spurring criticism from Aguilar who called his decision “unfortunate,” according to Jewish Insider.
“People should be allowed to congregate, to have discussions, to express their viewpoints and ideas,” Aguilar said during a press conference. “That’s who we are. [If] they want to revoke a group or organization, sometimes they have the ability to do that … we’ll work with individuals within the caucus to make sure that they have an opportunity to be heard.”
The event is now set to take place on the Senate side in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing room, which is chaired by Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according to reports.
NEWS: Tlaib’s “Nakba Day” event is back on in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Hearing Room in a Senate office building. McCarthy does not have jurisdiction on the Senate side. Committee is chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
— Marc Rod (@marcrod97) May 10, 2023
Tlaib has been called out on several occasions for making antisemitic remarks, calling Israel an apartheid state in 2021 and accusing the government of war crimes.
Aguilar claimed that he did not know anything about the organizations sponsoring the event and that he doesn’t necessarily “agree with everything every member in my caucus says or that every sponsored group or organization that comes here says,” according to Jewish Insider. Aguilar also said that as speaker of the House, he believes McCarthy has the authority to cancel events and that the decision “could be based on [the] guests and groups.”
Aguilar, McCarthy and Tlaib did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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