FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2019
Contact: Sonya E Meyerson-Knox | email@example.com | 929-290-0317
“Thank you for hearing me, thank you for seeing me, thank you for loving me. And thank you for allowing me to be not just your Congresswoman, but also a granddaughter of a grandmother living under occupation.”Rashida Tlaib, Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district
DETROIT, MI: On August 16, 2019, Dozens of members of Detroit’s Jewish community and allies gathered sundown in Pallister Park to observe a Shabbat service with Rep. Rashida Tlaib. As the Shabbat candles were lit, and prayers and poetry recited, Detroit’s Jewish community and allies stood together listening to Rep. Tlaib describe the hardships she faced this week and her commitment to keep fighting for justice.
Speaking with passion and through her tears, Rep. Rashida Tlaib said: “I cannot tell you how much love I feel here… Thank you for lifting up peace, love and justice… I’m proud of my Palestinian roots, and I’m also strong because I grew up in the most beautiful, blackest city in the country, in the city of Detroit.”
Rep. Tlaib continued: “I can’t wait to show my grandmother how I was supported by all of you – it would bring her so much joy. One day we’re going to be able to hear the voices of people like my grandmother, who have not been truly seen or heard… And so, today, thank you for hearing me, thank you for seeing me, thank you for loving me. And thank you for allowing me to be not just your Congresswoman, but also a granddaughter of a grandmother living under occupation.”
The Shabbat in the Park with Rashida: Rooted in Community and Freedom was organized by JVP Action, the new sister organization of the national grassroots organization Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP Action is building a multiracial, intergenerational movement of Jews and allies to transform U.S. policy towards justice in Israel/Palestine.
Yesterday, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were banned from entering Israel due to their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestinian rights. The Israeli government’s decision was encouraged by President Trump. Although Israel announced it would allow Tlaib to enter Israel on a humanitarian basis to visit her family – including her grandmother – such permission was contingent upon her agreeing to censor herself politically. As Tlaib said in her statement: “I will not allow the Israeli government to humiliate me and my family or take away our right to speak out. I will not allow the Israeli government to take away our hope.”
Beth Miller, JVP Action Government Affairs Manager: “We are in awe of Rep. Tlaib’s courage and stand by her. It’s heartbreaking that Rashida had to spend this evening with us instead of her beloved family. And it’s enraging that the Israeli government would hold a Member of Congress’s family hostage unless she agrees to censor herself. For as long as it’s existed, the Israeli government has forced these kinds of heart wrenching and impossible choices on Palestinians. It’s time for all of us to insist our elected officials hold Israel accountable.”
Barbara Harvey, JVP Action Supporter: “We know what Rashida’s values are, because she has served our community so well for years – during her three terms in the Michigan legislature and now in Congress. This community remembers her love for all of us and her passionate commitment to us and to justice for all. We will have her back as long as she is willing to serve.”
Reuben Telushkin, JVP Action organizer: “In celebrating Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, we are invited to also imagine the world we want to see. At the end of this difficult week, we’re grateful for Rashida’s steadfast leadership working toward the vision of a world with freedom and equality for all people.”
High resolution video and photographs of the event are available upon request.
JVP Action’s Beth Miller and Reuben Telushkin are available to speak with the media.
JVP Action is an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) organization formed as the political and advocacy arm of Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP Action is building a multiracial, intergenerational movement of Jews and allies to transform U.S. policy towards justice in Israel/Palestine.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 500,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.