Holocaust Comments by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Spark Calls for Action

By Zachary Stieber

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) recently remarked about the Holocaust, seemingly misrepresenting history, sparking a call for action by Democratic leadership in the latest uproar over Tlaib or one of her controversial allies.

The Palestinian-American lawmaker said in a recent statement that she felt a “calming feeling” when she thinks about the Holocaust, which saw approximately 6 million Jews killed by Hitler’s regime in Germany.

“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 during an interview on the podcast “Skullduggery.”

“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.”

railway tracks at Auschwitz
View of the railway tracks at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day, Jan. 27, 2014. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images)

Before and during the Holocaust, a number of Jews tried fleeing Europe to get to Palestine, which was under the control of the British, who had set a strict limit on immigrants. Many were turned away, forced to return to Europe, and were later killed by the Nazis.

Following the defeat of Hitler, the Jews’ push for their own state gained huge momentum, bolstered by many who fled the killings in Germany and countries that the Nazis had taken over, such as Poland, France, and Hungary.

The Arabs in Palestine continually opposed the creation of a Jewish state within Palestine’s borders and the Palestinian leader during World War II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin Al-Husseini, met with Hitler and Heinrich Himmler and allied with the Nazis.

“Al-Husayni collaborated with the German and Italian governments by broadcasting pro-Axis, anti-British, and anti-Jewish propaganda via radio to the Arab world; inciting violence against Jews and the British authorities in the Middle East; and recruiting young men of Islamic faith for service in German military, Waffen-SS, and auxiliary units,” according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Musem.

bus shows hitler and palestinian leader
An advertisement on a bus in Washington in 2014 includes a picture of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin Al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

“In turn, the Germans and the Italians used al-Husayni as a tool to inspire support and collaboration among Muslim residents of regions under Axis control and to incite anti-Allied violence and rebellion among Muslims residing beyond the reach of German arms,” it added.

Tlaib’s comments sparked calls for action by top Republican lawmakers.

“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 obtained by Townhall, calling for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to condemn the remarks. “More than six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust; there is nothing ‘calming’ about that fact.”

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that Democratic leaders should weigh in.

“Surely now Speaker Pelosi⁩ & ⁦Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will finally take action against vile anti-Semitism in their ranks. This must cross the line, even for them,” Cheney wrote.

Tlaib took to Twitter to slam people criticizing her, refusing to apologize or try to clarify her remarks.

“Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably,” she said.

“I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win.”