“I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said in an interview released Friday that thinking about how Jews “wiped out” Palestinians gives her a “calming feeling” about the Holocaust.
Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress, made the comments on the anti-Trump podcast Skullduggery. Asked about her support for a single Arab-Jewish nation in place of Israel, she referred to the Jewish state’s recent commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.
“There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, 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, has been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time,” she said. “And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways.”
Tlaib added, “They did it in a way that took their human dignity away. And it was forced on them. So when I think about one state, I think, Why can’t we do it in a better way? 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 you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?”
In fact, the Arab residents of Palestine opposed Jewish immigration during and after the Holocaust, including with terrorism, and British authorities severely restricted survivors from entering the territory. Only after the Jews defeated the local Arabs and neighboring Arabs states in the 1948 War of Independence were Jews free to immigrate to Israel.
In the past, Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, has harshly criticized U.S. support for Israel and defended the terrorist group Hamas, which seeks to destroy the Jewish state through violence. Like her Muslim colleague, Rep., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., she has faced allegations of being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.
However, she has dismissed the backlash as motivated by bigotry against “women of color.”
In the Skullduggery interview, Tlaib said it was not her who had given up on separate states for Jews and Palestinians, but rather Israel.
“I didn’t give it up,” she said. “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his party gave it up, and the Israeli government gave it up.”
Netanyahu does in fact seem to have ruled out granting the Palestinians full political autonomy in the near future. But Palestinian leaders have repeatedly rejected Israeli peace offers and instead supported terrorism.
Asked if she shares the policy of the terror group Hamas, which aims to destroy Israel, Tlaib rejected the idea: “I don’t come from a place of violence, I come from a place of love and equality and justice. For many of these organizations it’s about power struggle.”