Representative Ilhan Omar has all but claimed the shameful title of “Most Controversial Member of Congress” with her many quotes disparaging Israel and Jewish Americans, but she is far from alone as a far-left politician spewing hateful rhetoric. The progressive wing of Congress has managed to open the door to rabid anti-Semitism, and that door will be very hard to close.
While being interviewed on the “Skullduggery” podcast on Friday, freshman Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib confirmed her profound anti-Semitism when she claimed that thinking of the Holocaust “always kind of gave her a calming feeling.”
This shocking revelation occurred while she was being interviewed primarily to discuss her proposed legislation to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The interview quickly turned to her often-controversial views on the Middle East.
“Skullduggery” host Daniel Klaidman pressed Tlaib, the only person in Congress to outspokenly support a one-state solution for Israel, to further explain her position. He asked her flat-out what her vision is for a one-state solution that would work for both Palestinians and Israeli Jews.
Her response lays out all the cards:
I think two weeks ago or so we celebrated, or just took a moment I think in our country to remember 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… 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. And so, when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that why can’t we do it in a better way? And I don’t want people to do it in the name of Judaism, just like I don’t want people to use Islam in that way. It has to be done in a way of values around equality and around the fact that you shouldn’t oppress others so that you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?
If her point was to paint a picture of her Palestinian ancestors making room for Jews fleeing Nazi persecutors, she has created a version of history that is entirely fictional. Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner did a wonderful job highlighting the most egregiously inaccurate claims made by Tlaib, including:
— The Jewish presence in the area currently known as Israel dates back thousands of years, and the modern migration of Jews back there pre-dated the Holocaust by many decades, starting with the migration of Jews from Yemen in 1881.
— With the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British government supported the establishment of a Jewish state in the area, an idea rejected by Arabs.
— In 1937, the British Peel Commission proposed a two-state solution to Jews and Arabs, which the Arabs once again rejected because they could not accept any Jewish presence in the region.
In summary, Tlaib’s Palestinian ancestors fought back against the Jewish presence in the West Bank since long before World War II. In fact, during the war, a Palestinian leader allied himself with Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers, which resulted in many additional Jewish deaths in the Middle East.
In the interview, Klaidman, clearly taken aback by her staggering revision of history, responded by saying, “But a one-state solution with the right of return – I mean just the math suggests that Jews would become a minority in that state.”
Tlaib knows this quite well. That is part of the reasoning undergirding advocacy for a one-state “solution.” She calmly responded, “Dan, that’s not up to us to decide what it looks like.”
At this point, Klaidman needed her to at least try to save herself by asking, “The Palestinian authority itself still, at least rhetorically, supports a two-state solution. [The terrorist organization] Hamas does not. How do you distinguish your position from Hamas?”
Tlaib responded with the bugle call of all progressives who don’t have a good answer to their absurd foreign policy positions. She said, “I don’t come from a place of violence. I come from a place of love and equality and justice.” In other words, she refused to answer the question.
On Sunday night, The Washington Post published what would be their only article acknowledging Tlaib’s blatantly anti-Semitic comments from Thursday’s podcast. Unfortunately, the Post failed to report the congresswoman’s comments as troubling, instead choosing to run the story as a disparaging commentary on House Republicans who criticized Tlaib’s comments.
While quoting Tlaib’s comments in full, the Post also failed to acknowledge the staggering inaccuracy of her statements—a feat easily accomplished by any level of professional fact checking. The article focused entirely on comments made by Reps. Liz Cheney and Steve Scalise condemning Tlaib’s statement, insinuating they had both taken their colleague’s words out of context. The New York Times has nothing published that even mentions Tlaib’s interview.
In a written statement on Sunday, Tlaib’s spokesman Denzel McCampbell repeated the now-familiar refrain that criticizing anti-Semitic comments is “dangerous” for the person who made them. Cheney, who referred to Tlaib’s comments as “sickening,” was accused by McCampbell of exploiting the Holocaust to “score political points.”
This is far from Tlaib’s first foray into anti-Semitic sentiment. In addition to publicly supporting the one-state solution, she is an outspoken advocate of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) efforts against Israeli and Jewish business across the globe. BDS advocates rally for the total dissolution of Israel.
In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which represents 31 member countries including the United States, adopted a clear definition of anti-Semitism. Tlaib’s comments clearly fall within its boundaries. It says, in part, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities…Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”
This chilling interview by a sitting member of Congress should spell the end of Tlaib’s career. There is no question that her values are not in line with the country she supposedly represents. Anti-Semitic behavior and beliefs such as Tlaib’s and Omar’s have no place in the United States Congress. It’s long past time for the leaders of their party to hold them fully accountable and stop the infection.