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May 15, 2019 11:16 am

Jewish Democrats Condemn Rep. Tlaib’s Comments on Palestinians and Holocaust

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the ‘Trump Administration’s Response to the Drug Crisis-Part II’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 9, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Leah Millis.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) has condemned a congresswoman’s claim that Palestinian Arabs provided Jews a safe haven after the Holocaust, calling it “revisionist history.”

Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan said in an interview broadcast last Saturday, “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 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,” she added. “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.”

Tlaib was widely criticized for her claims, which many characterized as historically incorrect and antisemitic. Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, on the other hand, both defended Tlaib.

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Majority Leader Hoyer tweeted, “If you read Rep. @RashidaTlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context. They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”

Halie Soifer, executive director of the JDCA, expressed qualified support for Hoyer’s views, saying in a statement to The Algemeiner, “We agree with Leader Hoyer that Rep. Tlaib’s comments were taken out of context.”

However, the group directly criticized Tlaib, stating, “At the same time, her comments represent revisionist history — unfortunately, the Palestinians were not as welcoming of Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust as she suggested — and we strongly disagree with her refusal to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In addition, Soifer called out President Donald Trump on the issue, saying, “We are also troubled by President Trump’s hypocritical response, given how often he has stoked the flames of antisemitism and hatred in our country over the past three years.”

On Monday, Trump tweeted, “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?”

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