On Monday, President Trump drew attention to comments made by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib about the Holocaust and Palestinians that have caused a stir.
“Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust,” wrote Trump. “She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?”
Trump’s tweet comes in response to Tlaib’s comments in an interview with Yahoo’s “Skullduggery” podcast released Friday in which she said she gets a “kind of calming feeling” when she thinks about the Holocaust because of the role her Palestinian ancestors played in the creation of “a safe haven for Jews” after Nazi Germany’s horrific persecution. The freshman congresswoman made a point of portraying the Palestinians as victims of the creation of the Israeli state, stressing that many Palestinians “lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence,” because of the creation of Israel. But, she said, she is also “love[s] the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that.”
“There’s always kind of a calming feeling, I 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,” Tlaib told “Skullduggery,” as reported by CNN.
“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 continued. “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?”
When pressed on her call for a one-state solution, which effectively would result in the end of an Israeli state, she defended her stance, insisting she’s “coming from a place of love, for equality and justice.”
“I want a safe haven for Jews,” she said. “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.”
As Fox News notes, while Israel was officially formed three years after the end of the Holocaust, Jews had been migrating to their ancestral lande starting decades earlier. While what is now Israel was called Palestine then, it was actually under the control of the British Empire.
Among those calling out Tlaib for the comments are House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who slammed them as “disgusting” — particularly noting her use of the term “calming” to describe her reaction to something that resulted in the death of six million Jews — and Sen. Liz Cheney, who tweeted: “Surely now @SpeakerPelosi & @LeaderHoyer will finally take action against vile anti-Semitism in their ranks. This must cross the line, even for them. Rashida Tlaib says thinking of the Holocaust provides her a ‘calming feeling.'”
Tlaib has since issued a tweet and a formal statement condemning the criticism of her comments. “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.