Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s words are being twisted into racism and anti-Semitism by House Republicans. Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress and is a Palestinian refugee.
In an interview with Yahoo News’s “Skullduggery” podcast published on Saturday, Tlaib was asked about her support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tlaib went on to say that she felt “humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer” for Jews to be safe from the Holocaust.
Below is the complete sentence, which some Republicans are falsely claiming is anti-Semitic:
“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 . . . 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,” Tlaib said in the interview.
“I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven], in many ways,” Tlaib went on. “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 one-state, I think about the fact that why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
On Sunday, House Republicans jumped onto Tlaib, accusing her of saying the “calming feeling” was related to the fact that the Holocaust happened and killed Jews, even though Tlaib repeated several times she thought the Holocaust was “horrific” and a “tragedy.”
“More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact,” Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement.
Rep. Liz Cheney called on Democrats to “take action” against Tlaib but Democrats have already largely come to Tlaib’s defense.
President Donald Trump also used his Twitter account to spread misinformation about what Tlaib had actually said in the interview.
Tlaib immediately called out Republicans for the outright lies about what she had said in the podcast.
“Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work,” she said in a tweet. “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.”