Democrats defended Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) as she faced a wave of backlash from Republicans attempting to twist a comment she made about the Holocaust.
Last week Tlaib, who became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress in January, said during an interview she was “humbled” and got a “calming feeling” when recalling that her “ancestors provided a [safe haven] in many ways” for Jews during the Holocaust.
Here’s the full quote, made during an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day:
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 … 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.
… I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven] in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them, and so when I think about one-state, I think about the fact that why can’t we do it in a better way? … Why can’t we all be free and safe together?
Republicans ― including President Donald Trump ― latched onto her use of “a calming feeling” in discussing the Holocaust, twisting the phrase for an opportunity to call the congresswoman anti-Semitic. The smear campaign smelled similar to the one Republicans lobbed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) ― the fallout of which is ongoing.
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
In Tlaib’s case, Dems were quick to condemn the bad faith operation. This week a number of Democrats came to her aid, including Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), who tweeted, “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.”
Omar fired directly at Trump, noting that he “praised people at a neo-Nazi rally.”
“This is another transparent attempt to sow division between minority communities and distract from your own criminal behavior by smearing a Muslim woman,” she stated on Twitter.
You praised people at a neo-Nazi rally. We don’t have to imagine.This is another transparent attempt to sow division b/t minority communities and distract from your own criminal behavior by smearing a Muslim woman.No one should fall for it this time. https://t.co/y0ggJT83oF— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 13, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Republicans to “stop your ugly attacks against Muslim women in Congress.”
Mr. President: Stop dividing the American people up by their religion, their race or their country of origin–and stop your ugly attacks against Muslim women in Congress. You are taking Rep. @RashidaTlaib’s comments out of context and should apologize. https://t.co/QlYNn46zXQ— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 13, 2019
Tlaib pushed back herself, accusing Republicans of twisting her words for a “racist and hateful agenda.”
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
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