US: Rashida Tlaib calls for Abu Akleh killing probe, calls out colleagues backing Israel
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is continuing to push for an investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, calling out "progressive" lawmakers by saying that they could not call themselves progressives if they continued to back Israel.
In an online advocacy seminar held on Tuesday by Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), and co-sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Tlaib, the congresswoman representing Michigan since 2019, said: “I want you all to know that among progressives, it has become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values, yet back Israel’s apartheid government.”
“We will continue to push back and not accept this idea that you are progressive, except for Palestine, any longer,” she continued.
In her five-minute speech, Tlaib called out the lack of investigation by the US into the murder of Abu Akleh.
Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli snipers while reporting on a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin in May 2022. Her family has called on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to investigate the murder. On Tuesday, lawyers representing the family of Abu Akleh asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a new investigation into her killing.
On Wednesday, previously unseen footage put together by Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq's Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit revealed new evidence concluding that she was killed deliberately by Israeli forces.
The investigation builds on findings from other investigations, including the UN one, which concluded that Israeli forces fired the fatal bullet that killed Abu Akleh.
At the online seminar, Tlaib said that Abu Akleh’s case had "opened the eyes of many of my colleagues and countless decent people around the world to the brutal reality of living under apartheid Israel. It’s nothing short of outrageous that our government continues to refuse to hold Israel accountable for these killings”.
She added that she would continue to push for a fully transparent investigation, and demand full accountability for Abu Akleh’s murder.
Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, has been one of the most outspoken politicians on the killing, calling for US aid to Israel to be restricted.
In May, she held a moment of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives and called for a US probe into the killing, rather than relying on Israel to investigate its own actions.
“I don't have to tell you all that our struggle for justice is not an easy one. The Palestinian people are fighting against occupation, apartheid and political exploitation at every single turn,” she said during the seminar.
“We all know that international laws and human rights meant to protect the oppressed are ignored when it comes to the apartheid government of Israel.
"While they expand settlements, Palestinian rights are systematically denied and apartheid and oppression remain the laws of the land.”