Rashida Tlaib, the one Palestinian member in our Congress, will be in New York City on March 18. She emailed me this recent letter. I admire her courage and commitment.

Mary jo,

Under Israel’s apartheid government, Palestinians are banned from flying the Palestinian flag. But I’m proudly flying the flag outside my office in Congress. 

As violence keeps escalating under Israel’s extremist far-right government, I want the Palestinian people to know that no one can erase our existence.

For months, Israeli soldiers have invaded Palestinian villages nearly every day, critically injuring hundreds while shooting at ambulances to block people from receiving medical care. And in the last week, violent mobs of Israeli settlers (who live in Palestinian territories illegally) have attacked a number of Palestinian towns, even burning down homes with families inside. 

Responding to recent attacks, a senior Israeli government official incited genocide against Palestinians, calling for the state of Israel to “wipe out” the Palestinian villages.

Yet the bipartisan effort to shield Israel from accountability continues. State governments and Congress have tried to punish boycotts of Israel and other tactics calling for Palestinian rights, in violation of our First Amendment rights to free speech and dissent. Yet the far-right Supreme Court recently refused to take up a case to overturn one of these unconstitutional laws. 

Despite these efforts to silence us, I will not back down. As the only Palestinian-American serving in the U.S. Congress, I won’t stand by silently as our country is complicit in Israel’s apartheid. We must end unconditional U.S. military support for Israel’s military now. We need to keep the pressure on until Palestinians’ humanity and equal rights are finally recognized. 

I will not back down in the face of attempts to silence me and others in the movement for Palestinian rights. Thank you for being by my side.

In solidarity,