Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan has been attacked for saying that she gets a “calming feeling” when she thinks of the Holocaust.
Tlaib made the comment during on “Skullduggery, a Yahoo News podcast published Friday, while speaking about creating a one-state solution to the dilemma in the Middle East.
“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 during the podcast, according to Fox News.
(The podcast can be heard here. Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust start around the 28-minute mark.)
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana fired right back, and demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi take action against anti-Semitism in her party, Fox News reported.
“There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance,” Scalise said in a statement, according to Fox. “More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact.
“Unfortunately, this is far from the first display of heinous anti-Semitic comments coming from Democrat House members this year, and it’s clear this is now the norm for their caucus,” Scalise said.
“It’s long past time for Speaker Pelosi to take swift action and make it clear that these vile comments have no place in Congress.”
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming demanded that Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland “finally take action against Representative Tlaib and other members of the Democratic caucus who are spreading vile anti-Semitism.”
“All of us, regardless of party, must stand as Americans against the evil of anti-Semitism. If the Democratic leadership continues to stand by in silence, they are enabling the spread of evil. History teaches us that anti-Semitism begins with words and becomes something far worse. Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer must act now,” she said.
Tlaib, who has a history of anti-Semitic-sounding statements, said her words were being taken out of context.
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.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) May 13, 2019
“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,” she tweeted Sunday.
Tlaib’s office also tried to quell the firestorm of protest over Tlaib’s comments.
“The Congresswoman did not in any way praise the Holocaust, nor did she say the Holocaust itself brought a calming feeling to her,” spokesman Denzel McCampbell said. “In fact, she repeatedly called the Holocaust a tragedy and a horrific persecution of Jewish people.”
Tlaib’s comments were pilloried on Twitter.
Rashida Tlaib says thinking of the Holocaust provides her a ‘calming feeling,’ shockingly claims Palestinians created ‘safe haven’ for Jews. https://t.co/U6FaDQhNfq
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 12, 2019
Take note. Such claims are part of an intentional disinformation campaign. To paint the Arabs as having “welcome Jewish refugees” is the exact opposite of what transpired. @RashidaTlaib forgets the Mufti met Hitler about their “shared problem”! Nice try!https://t.co/72Qc8LBxbG
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) May 12, 2019
No one should ever receive a ‘calming feeling’ when thinking about the Holocaust. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments are completely unacceptable and reveal a disturbing, warped view of history. https://t.co/vZrn0mAtTh
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) May 13, 2019
During the podcast, Tlaib dwelt on the impact that the creation of Israel had on Palestinians in the Middle East.
“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,” she said.
“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?” she said.
Tlaib insisted during the podcast she was “coming from a place of love, and equality and justice.”
“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,” she said.
The comments raised the ire of Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) May 12, 2019
“.@RashidaTlaib, your words are both grossly#antiSemitic and ignorant. You should take some time to learn the history before trying to rewrite it,” he tweeted.
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