Washington (QNN)- US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib widely criticized after saying in an interview with Yahoo News that she was humbled that her Palestinian ancestors created a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust.
During an interview with Yahoo’s Skullduggery podcast that was released on Friday, Tlaib was asked about her support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There’s kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust,” she answered.
” … 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.
“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 couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
A wave of criticism and accusations by pro-Israel and pro-Trump media followed Tlaib’s statement. The uproar reached its peak when US President Donald Trump on Monday entered the swirling debate.
Trump laid in to Tlaib, saying the congresswoman “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?”
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
Top House Republican Liz Cheney also seized on the remarks, saying they represented “vile anti-Semitism” and called on the House’s Democratic leadership to take action.
“This must cross the line, even for them,” she tweeted.
Tlaib accused Republicans and other critics of purposefully “policing” her words and “twisting [and] turning them to ignite vile attacks”.
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
Tlaib was backed up by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who said “Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear (Tlaib) & misrepresent her comments are outrageous”, adding that Trump and Republicans needed to apologise.
Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous. President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 13, 2019
Bend The Arc, a progressive Jewish association, also defended the congresswoman.
“The attacks on Rashida Tlaib are vile & baseless. She did not minimize the tragedy of the Holocaust,” the group tweeted. “Shame on GOP leadership for weaponizing antisemitism & Jewish trauma to attack progressive leaders of colour and push Islamophobia.”
Similar accusations of anti-Semitism were levelled against Ilhan Omar, who after Tlaib is the only other Muslim in Congress, after she said earlier this year that American support for Israel was driven by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Pro-Israel lobby and right wing groups are accused of weaponizing antisemitism to remove political opponents and incite hatred.