A Republican congressman on Monday called on Rashida Tlaib to apologize for controversial comments in which she said that thinking about the Holocaust gave her “kind of a calming feeling.”
“If you look at the entire context of the interview, what she was trying, very badly, to say that she loved or was calming wasn’t necessarily the Holocaust it was that her ancestors provided the land for the safe haven for the Jews post-Holocaust,” Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“What I really have strong disagreement with is she seemed to create some moral equivalency between the Holocaust and the fighting that then went on between the Palestinians and the Jews and I think that’s completely unacceptable and I think she should apologize for it.”
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Tlaib, D-Mich., spoke about the Holocaust during a Yahoo News podcast released Friday.
“There’s kind of a calming feeling I always 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,” she said.
She added, “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. And so when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
President Trump on Monday criticized the comments in a tweet, accusing Tlaib of having tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
“Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?” Trump said.
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Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, stood by her comments.
“Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work,” she said. “All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win.”
Waltz said if Tlaib’s comments are perceived as anti-Semitic, “then she should clarify and again should apologize.”
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“Look at the end of the day the reality is that the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab nations have been fighting and trying to destroy the nation of Israel for the last 50, 60, 70 years and that’s what needs to be fully acknowledged and that’s what we need to move past.”