Haters always tip their hands – sometimes in full view of an audience.
When Representative Rashida Tlaib said in a Yahoo News podcast that she gets a “calm feeling” when thinking about the Holocaust, and lied that her Palestinian people welcomed the Jewish people to their land in the wake of World War II, she ignited a firestorm.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times rallied to the Democratic politician’s defense. “The remarks,” the paper wrote, “and the ensuing partisan furor on Monday, set off yet another feud over Israel, anti-Semitism and the first two Muslim women in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that President Trump and Republican leaders apologize to Ms. Tlaib “for their gross misrepresentations.” The No. 2 House Democrat and the No. 3 House Republican traded potshots. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont also jumped in, defending Ms. Tlaib and chiding the president for his “ugly attacks.”
Nor was anyone surprised that Tlaib should find comfort and support in the liberal media. Appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday, she claimed her words had been misunderstood, and called those who were outraged “racist idiots.” She added, “I will continue to speak truth to power, continue to uplift my grandmother (who lives in the West Bank) through love and that’s all I can do. (I will) Continue to share the human impact of what it means to be Palestinian in the occupied territories.”
“Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress and a Palestinian-American and an advocate for investigating whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, has been roundly criticized by Republicans, including Trump, for comments she made last week on a Yahoo News podcast,” wrote the Detroit Free Press. “Critics accused of her being “calmed” by the Holocaust, with some, notably Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., calling her comments “exactly the kind of anti-Semitic lies that are spread to delegitimize the state of Israel” on FOX News’ “Fox and Friends.”
A press release quickly put out by Tlaib’s people in an effort to quell the furor naturally blames President Trump and the Republicans. In it, she notes that the Holocaust was “a horrific persecution of Jewish people and should be remembered as such, nothing short of that. While I conveyed these sentiments during Yahoo’s Skullduggery’s Podcast, it’s shameful that right-wing extremists and GOP leadership, including President Trump, have twisted and misconstrued my words to spread falsehoods rooted in hate.
“Trump has doubled down on his party’s use of the Holocaust to score political points,” it continues. “Instead of recognizing that the accusations against me are false and that my words have been blatantly misconstrued, Trump has once again used his platform to incite hate and violence based on lies. This is yet another attempt by the administration and the GOP to try to distract from their horrible policies, lawless acts, and actual anti-Semitic rhetoric.”