Has anyone on the left condemned Rashida Tlaib, the congresswoman from Michigan, for her repeated anti-Semitism and, in particular, for her misstatement of the historical record of the Holocaust?
If so, they have done it in muted tones and with an ample serving of excuses. The absence of real criticism from her Democratic peers suggests one of two things. Either they are deeply embarrassed by Tlaib’s remarks and wish they would just go away, or they agree with her remarks. As the Jewish teacher Bob Dylan once said in another context, “There ain’t no neutral ground.”
It will be even harder for Democrats to escape responsibility for embracing Tlaib’s extremism now that Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has written a clear “no holds barred” analysis of Tlaib’s words in context with the historical record that belies them.
Boteach begins by providing Tlaib’s own words in full, so that no one can deflect from the horror of what she said as a guest on the Skullduggery Project podcast by saying the words were taken out of context. “Tlaib was asked to explain her belief in a one-state solution (spoiler: there’s no Israel). Instead of staying on the subject of contemporary politics, Tlaib decided to go down memory lane and right into the Holocaust.”
Here is the offensive quote:
“Absolutely. Let me tell you – I mean, for me, I think two weeks ago we celebrated – or took a moment I think in our country to remember – the Holocaust. And there’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust in 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, 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.”
If that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, I don’t know what will. If it is not Holocaust denial, it is at the very least Holocaust deflection or Holocaust “denial of responsibility.” Boteach pulled no punches in his response.
TO SAY that “there’s a kind of calming feeling” you get when you “think of the Holocaust” is worse than antisemitic; it’s positively sick. Just imagine if someone had said the same of slavery. The offensiveness of these words should be clear to anyone, certainly someone who has been accused by Jews of bigotry. It should be yet more apparent to someone, like Tlaib, who decries that assessment as wrong.
Generally, I wouldn’t have made a fuss over her near miss on saying that Americans “celebrated” the Holocaust on Yom Hashoah. In light of her other verbal “slip” – her “calming feelings” on the Holocaust – I’m inclined to believe that there’s meaning in both. Accidental indecency doesn’t strike the same sentence twice.
He then gets into the meat of his argument, which is that on the facts of history, Tlaib is just dead wrong.
Tlaib claimed that her ancestors provided Jews with a “safe haven” around the time of the Holocaust. The truth is that both before, during and after the Holocaust, many Palestinian Arabs worked to make the land of Israel into a death trap.
Boteach delivers a concise history lesson proving just that point. He then delivers his conclusion in stunning, brutal honesty:
The Arab massacres of Palestinian Jews; the insurgent opposition to Jewish immigration; the high-level support for Hitler; and the support for a genocidal war against the Jews – none of that should give anyone a “calming feeling,” certainly not in the context of the Holocaust. Unless, of course, one is driven by the same agenda of depriving Jews of peace and safety.
With regard to Tlaib, that seems to be the most likely explanation.
Read the complete article here in the Jerusalem Post.
Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To read more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy or “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake?”. They are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions.