House Republican leaders called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to “take action” against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Sunday after Tlaib said that thinking about the Holocaust gave her “kind of a calming feeling” in part because in its aftermath, the Palestinians helped create “a safe haven for Jews.”
Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, made the comments while discussing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians during an appearance on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”
“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 said on the podcast’s most recent episode, published Friday.
“And, 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 and it was forced on them.”
President Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to blast Tlaib for her “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
“There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a statement. “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 added. “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 Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tlaib’s comments were “sickening” and called on Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., “to finally take action against Representative Tlaib and other members of the Democratic caucus who are spreading vile anti-Semitism.”
“Once again, Republican leaders and right-wing extremists are spreading outright lies to incite hate,” Tlaib spokesman Denzel McCampbell said in a statement Sunday night.
“Congresswoman Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself for using the tragedy of the Holocaust in a transparent attempt to score political points. Her behavior cheapens our public discourse and is an insult to the Jewish community and the millions of Americans who stand opposed to the hatred being spread by Donald Trump’s Republican party.”
Tlaib responded to the criticism, saying Republicans were twisting her words to create “vile attacks” on her:
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
A Democratic leader demanded an APOLOGY to Tlaib.
“If you read Rep. Tlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. “They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”
“Obviously I don’t think that she hates Israel or hates Jews,” said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, on Fox News. “She’s not a hateful person. She’s not a bigoted person.”