House Republican leaders called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to “take action” against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Sunday after Tlaib said that thinking about the Holocaust gave her “kind of a calming feeling.”
Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, made the comments while discussing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians during an appearance on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”
“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,” Tlaib said on the podcast’s most recent episode, published Friday. “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. 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.”
“There is no justification for the twisted and disgusting comments made by Rashida Tlaib just days after the annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a statement. “More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact.
“Unfortunately, this is far from the first display of heinous anti-Semitic comments coming from Democrat House members this year, and it’s clear this is now the norm for their caucus,” Scalise added. “It’s long past time for Speaker Pelosi to take swift action and make it clear that these vile comments have no place in Congress.”
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tlaib’s comments were “sickening” and called on Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., “to finally take action against Representative Tlaib and other members of the Democratic caucus who are spreading vile anti-Semitism.”
A spokesman for Tlaib did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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“All of us, regardless of party, must stand as Americans against the evil of anti-Semitism,” added Cheney, the third-ranking Republican member of the House. “If the Democratic leadership continues to stand by in silence, they are enabling the spread of evil. History teaches us that anti-Semitism begins with words and becomes something far worse. Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer must act now.”
Tlaib, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has become a lightning road for critics who have accused her of promoting anti-Semitic activists and rhetoric. Last month, the Zionist Organization of America called for the Democrats to expel Tlaib and pull her committee assignments over her “anti-Israel record” and her alleged association with “terrorists, anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists.”