A Democratic lawmaker came under fire over the weekend, after she claimed that Palestinian Arabs living in the British Mandate prior to the establishment of the State of Israel “provided” a safe haven to Jews after the Holocaust.
Rashida Tlaib, a freshman Democrat representing Michigan in the US House of Representatives, said in an interview with Yahoo!’s Skullduggery podcast program Saturday that she felt pride in the fact that her “ancestors, Palestinians” provided Jews with a haven after the Holocaust.
“Let me tell you, I mean, for me, just two weeks ago or so, we celebrated, but just took a moment I think in our country to remember the Holocaust.”
“There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust,” Tlaib said, “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, has been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-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 in many ways.”
During the 56-minute interview on Skullduggery, Tlaib lashed out at both Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, accusing Netanyahu of oppression and calling for Trump’s impeachment.
“We can smell it from far away that, no, you don’t want to look at my grandmother in the eye, Netanyahu, and say ‘You are equal to me. You are as human as I am to you,’” Tlaib said of the recently reelected Israeli premier.
Regarding her support for a one-state solution, Tlaib said the Israeli government’s policies had made a two-state solution non-viable.
“The Israeli government gave it up,” Tlaib said of the two-state solution. “It’s not me to decide. It’s the will of the people. If Netanyahu got up tomorrow and said, ‘You know what? I’m going to take down the walls, I’m not gonna expand settlements, enough is enough. I really want to push towards a two-state solution – he has every power, ever power to do that. And then people like myself and others would truly believe in that.”
She also accused Netanyahu and the Israeli government of working to “segregate communities” in Judea and Samaria.
“When I think about one state, I think: Why can’t we do it in a better way? I don’t want people to do it in the name of Judaism just like I don’t want people to use Islam in that way. It has to be done in a way of values around equality, around the fact that you shouldn’t oppress others. So that you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?”
Touching on domestic politics, Tlaib called for president Trump’s impeachment, calling President Trump’s “foreign and domestic” investments a “conflict of interest”.
“This is the first President, all 44 before him, divested in their foreign and domestic investments...We have a corporation running our government right now…We set a precedent when we don’t say to someone that this is conflict of interest, this is a corridor to power, this is the most powerful position in the world and you got an upgraded version of pay to play...This will not be the last CEO that runs for President of the United States and if we don’t hold this President accountable to the rule of law, you say is that impeachable, obviously it is.”
Earlier this month, Tlaib also sparked controversy when she commented on news coverage of rocket attacks by Gaza-based terrorist groups on Israel, calling the news stories “dehumanizing” to Palestinian Arabs, and writing the hashtag “Free Palestine”.
When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free? Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families,” Tlaib tweeted, adding “#FreePalestine.”
On Saturday, Tlaib retweeted a call for the "liberation" of Palestine.
"First Friday prayer this #Ramadan in #Palestine, mashAllah. Praying for your liberation, your freedom, and your protection— my people. Ameen Ameen."