CNN’s John King slams Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) anti-Semitic remarks on the Holocaust: “Palestinian leaders at the time sided with Hitler”pic.twitter.com/h4NpCaVsDR
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 13, 2019
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on Monday fired back at President Trump and other Republican leaders for criticizing her use of the term “a calming feeling” in reference to the Holocaust, contending her remarks were taken out of context.
The Muslim congresswoman insisted in an podcast interview released Friday she was referring not to the Holocaust itself but to Palestinians giving Jews “safe haven.”
But that’s the real problem with her remarks, a CNN global affairs analyst said Monday.
Far from creating a “safe haven,” Palestinian leaders joined with the Nazis during World War II in a plan to exterminate the Jews in the Holy Land.
“The reality is that the Arabs of Palestine, Amin al-Husseini, the grand Mufti, … collaborated, coordinated with the Nazis about what would happen if Rommel’s Africa corps had actually been successful in Egypt and had been present in Palestine,” said CNN’s Aaron David Miller, a former State Department negotiator
“They were considering the extermination of the entire Jewish community there as well,” he said.
Miller said Tlaib’s “ill-timed and ill-advised” remarks “clearly will simply antagonize and polarize the already polarized debate in Washington.”
By the 1940s, Arabs in the Holy Land already had been carrying out pogroms, terrorism, and political attacks for decades, notes David Harsanyi in the Federalist. And all of that, he added, “despite the fact that Jewish migration had been exceptionally beneficial for the Arabs living in the area.”
“Rarely mentioned in the Israeli-Palestinian debate, in fact, is that significant Arab migration into a largely empty land was spurred by Jewish economic development. Jews were not displacing Arabs, they were attracting them,” he wrote.
Tlaib, born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, has opposed aid to Israel as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is prime minister. And she is among a handful of Congress members who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who served under President Barack Obama, said he understands Tlaib “giving voice to Palestinians’ sense of loss,” but criticized her anti-Israel policy positions and “the strange idea” that Palestinians “welcomed Jews fleeing Europe for a haven.”
‘A calming feeling’
In the interview released Friday by Yahoo News’s “Skullduggery” podcast, Tlaib referred to the Holocaust in response to a question about a one-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“There’s kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports,” she said.
“I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right, and it was forced on them. And so when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that, why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
“Once again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate,” said Tlaib’s communications director, Denzel McCampbell, in a statement.
The president and Congress members such as Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who is Jewish, argued her one-state solution would put Jews in the minority and out of power.
“This is a heart filled w darkness & how the Holocaust began in 1st place,” Zeldin wrote in a tweet Sunday.
Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted that it should be clear to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that her remarks crossed a line and they must “finally take action against vile anti-Semitism in their ranks.”
Trump tweeted Monday: “She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”
‘Our public discourse’
Tlaib’s spokesman McCampbell accused Cheney of “using the tragedy of the Holocaust in a transparent attempt to score political points.”
“Her behavior cheapens our public discourse and is an insult to the Jewish community and the millions of Americans who stand opposed to the hatred being spread by Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” he said.
Tlaib tweeted: “Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win.”
Tlaib also said during the podcast: “I want a safe haven for Jews. Who doesn’t want to be safe? I am humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen, but I will not turn my back and allow others to hijack it and say that it’s some extremist approach because they’re coming from a place of … whatever it is … of division, inequality.”