Last night, I wrote on Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s latest dive into antisemitism, which involved historically ignorant comments about Palestinians providing a “safe haven” for Jews after the Holocaust.
“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 just after the 28 minute mark. “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.”
This was extremely problematic for two reasons.
One, it’s completely false. The Palestinians were massacring Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader at the time, allied with Hitler and tried to carry out his own genocide, which includes numerous mass killings. There’s also the fact that Palestinians and their Arab allies tried to, you know, destroy Israel the same year it gained statehood in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The idea that there was ever an effort, voluntarily or even involuntarily, by Palestinians to provide a safe haven for Jews is objectively nonsense.
To assert such is like a German saying they are extremely proud that their ancestors provided free housing for Jews in the 1940s. It’s not only an extreme, out of context misreading of history, it’s morally gross to claim.
In 1929, Palestinian Arabs broke into the yeshiva in Hebron, murdering every student they found there. Then they lynched Jews in the streets. When the town's rabbi tried to shelter frightened Jews in his home, the Arab mob attacked and killed him and his family. pic.twitter.com/QPLLfGeqcW
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) May 12, 2019
"Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany," Husseini wrote, "was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine & the Arab world." Again & again he insisted that Jewish refugees be barred from Palestine.
"Safe haven," @RashidaTlaib? Truly, you're shameless.
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) May 12, 2019
Second, Tlaib’s comments are not a new creation. What she said is typical anti-Semitic propaganda which seeks to paint the Jews as new arrivals after the Holocaust. In reality, Jews far predated Arabs in the region, were a majority before the Holocaust, had legally begun buying land to resettle in Israel before World War 2, and the agreed plan for a Jewish state predated the conflict by decades. And that’s just me glossing over the matter. The complete history of Jews in Israel is vast and would take hours to recount here.
What is being done by Tlaib is an attempt to paint Israel as some random entity that popped up to facilitate European Jews after the Holocaust, which frames them as foreigners with no right to be there.
Now, we are starting to get reaction from non-right leaning sources on the matter and it’s exactly what you’d expect.
The Washington Post is claiming that Tlaib’s comments are being “seized” on by Republicans.
Found it! pic.twitter.com/nmn1ATZNlP
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 13, 2019
Yes, that’s the story here.
It’s objectively false to say Tlaib is being taken out context. What the WaPo is trying to do is center the conversation on her “calming feeling” comment, which could actually be taken out of context (no, she wasn’t saying the Holocaust itself gave her that). But that’s not what any conservative reacting is talking about. We are all commenting on her historical ignorance and the gross nature in which she painted genocidal Palestinians as submissive protectors of Jews.
If you read the WaPo article, not once does the writer address the falsities in Tlaib’s comments, instead choosing to defend her and Ilhan Omar (who wasn’t even a part of this issue).
It's even worse. @feliciasonmez actually spends the article defending Tlaib and claiming Republicans were taking her comments out of context.
No mention that what she said was historically illiterate and a myth spread by anti-Semites to dismiss the Jewish connection to israel.
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) May 13, 2019
For her part, Rashida Tlaib commented late last night via her official Twitter account.
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
Notice the re-direct by Tlaib to her “calming feeling” statement, even though that’s not the issue anyone was discussing about her comments. She does that knowing the media will now spend all day claiming Republicans were accusing her of supporting the Holocaust. I haven’t seen a single legitimate conservative voice do that. Instead, the focus has been completely on what I described at the beginning of this article.
Tlaib lies and doubles down about the criticism against her knowing that not a single mainstream media outlet will call her on it. Instead, she can sit back and count on being defended at all costs. It’s insanity on a grand level.