Muslim congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a friend of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), said something that came across as so anti-Semitic and historically inaccurate that even CNN had to take her to task.
And they really tore her apart on Monday.
According to CNN, Tlaib was speaking as part of a Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast recently when she said, "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.”
"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,” Tlaib added. “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 also said: “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."
There’s more than one problem with that statement, as CNN soon pointed out.
“She ignored the fact that Palestinian at the time allied themselves with Hitler,” explained CNN’s John King. “The total war was how the Arab world reacted to the declaration of Israeli independence.”
Flabbergasted, King asked former State Department negotiator Aaron David Miller, "She can't rewrite that history, and you can't project revisionist history, so why?"
"She also has her history wrong on two points," Miller explained. "Number one, it’s an arguable proposition [that] even had there been no Holocaust, most of the institutions of the current State of Israel were in place before Hitler started killing Jews, so the Holocaust added urgency and international support. But I suspect with or without it, the State of Israel would have come into being."
He continued: "And finally on this notion that Palestinians either negatively or positively helped to create a safe haven for Jews, the reality is that the Arabs of Palestine, Haj Amin al-Husseini the Grand Mufti, in Nazi Germany collaborating, coordinating with the Nazis about what would happen if Rommel’s Third Corps had been successful in Egypt and been present in Palestine, they were considering extermination of the entire Jewish community there as well.”
“So this was ill-timed, ill-advised, and I think it clearly is simply going to antagonize and polarize the already polarized debate in Washington."
Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon went after Tlaib, too, telling her on Twitter that “your words are both grossly #antiSemitic and ignorant. You should take some time to learn the history before trying to rewrite it.”
President Trump weighed in as well, tweeting, “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?”
As she was hit with criticism over the weekend, Tlaib defended herself, saying on Twitter, “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.”