Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic Congresswoman from Michigan who last year became one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, was ripped by Republicans for a statement she made during a podcast interview over the weekend about the Holocaust, the founding of Israel, and the Palestinians who were present at the time.
Per The Inquisitr, the Congresswoman, who is of Palestinian descent, told the Skullduggery podcast that she was comforted by the idea that, after the Holocaust, some Jews found a home in the land that is now called Israel, but that their arrival came at the expense of her own people.
“There’s, you know, there’s a 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, had been wiped out. 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,” Tlaib said in the interview.
Some Republicans, led by Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York, ripped the comments, implying that Tlaib had been calling the Holocaust itself “a calming feeling.” He was later joined by Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and eventually by President Trump himself, who tweeted Monday morning that Tlaib was “being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”
However, it is very clear that the “calming feeling” quote was not a reference to the Holocaust itself, but rather that a “safe haven” had been created for Jews in Israel following the Holocaust.
Democratic leaders in Congress, who had been criticized for being too slow to defend the other Democratic Muslim woman freshman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, from attacks by Republicans, rushed to Tlaib’s defense.
“If you read Rep. Tlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told The Hill on Monday.
“They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”
Trump + his cronies are once again using bigoted smears to silence @RepRashida leadership.@RashidaTlaib has consistently demonstrated what it means to act w/ moral clarity at this dangerous moment in history. All who believe in freedom + dignity should rise beside her. pic.twitter.com/Foos9D1L4W— Anthony Torres ???? (@avtorres4) May 13, 2019
The affair recalls a similar controversy from during the 2008 presidential campaign when, per Politifact, Barack Obama referred to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a “constant sore” in an interview with The Atlantic, and opponents sought to claim that he had called Israel itself a “constant sore.”
Tlaib drew attention earlier this year when she declared her intention to “impeach the motherf-cker,” in reference to President Trump.