President Donald Trump on Monday morning joined the GOP’s bad faith attacks on Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for her recent comment about the Holocaust.
Yahoo! podcast Skullduggery published an interview with Tlaib on Friday, during which she proposed a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her full comment on the Holocaust is as follows (you can listen to her remark at the 28:00 timestamp):
“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, 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 can’t we do it in a better way? And I don’t want people to do it in the name of Judaism, just like I don’t want people to use Islam in that way. It has to be done in a way that values around equality and around the fact that you shouldn’t oppress others so you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?”
When Tlaib said she loves the fact that it was her ancestors that provided “that,” she was referring to the safe haven for Jews post-Holocaust. Her overall point seemed to be that she was proud that her ancestors’ homeland provided a safe haven for Jews after the tragedy of the Holocaust even if it came at great cost to the Palestinians themselves.
However, Trump falsely claimed on Monday that her remark proved that she “obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
The so-called controversy began on Sunday after the right-wing Washington Examiner picked up on Tlaib’s Friday interview, slapping it with the misleading headline “Rashida Tlaib says thinking of the Holocaust provides her a ‘calming feeling,’ shockingly claims Palestinians created ‘safe haven’ for Jews.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told the Washington Post on Sunday that her comments were “twisted and disgusting.”
House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) retweeted the Examiner article, calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to “take action” against “vile anti-Semitism in their ranks.” She later told the Washington Post that Democratic leadership was “enabling the spread of evil” by not condemning Tlaib.
On Sunday night, Tlaib hit back at her detractors.
“I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda,” she tweeted. “The truth will always win.”
Tlaib’s office also released an official statement declaring that “One again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate,” likely a reference to the right’s unfounded attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her comment about 9/11.
“During one portion of the segment discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Congresswoman mentioned the role that Palestinians played in helping to provide a safe have for Jewish people following the tragedy of the Holocaust,” the statement added. “Rep. Tlaib said thinking about this effort to provide a safe have for people fleeing persecution brought calm to Rep. Tlaib because her ancestors were involved in helping those tragically impacted by the Holocaust.”
Statement on lies being spread regarding Congresswoman Tlaib's appearance on Yahoo's SkullDuggery Podcast. pic.twitter.com/fBASeibLwV
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) May 13, 2019