Rashida Tlaib: "Why's everybody always pickin' on me?"
"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 around the 28 minute mark.
"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," Tlaib continued. "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."
Much to Tlaib's chagrin, she was called out by many commentators on what is either her historical revisionism or her historical ignorance.
Rather than trying to work toward the truth, she immediately cast herself as the victim of a nefarious plot.
Of course, she's not alone in her struggle. Over at the Washington Post, Paul Waldman is standing up for her against those nasty Republicans who are twisting her words. But when it comes to addressing Tlaib's fact free version of history:
Tlaib discussed the fact that the creation of the state of Israel arose out of the Holocaust, increasing the world’s willingness to create a safe haven for Jews. She argued for us to see it as a shared if complicated history of oppression binding Palestinians and Jews together: Jews were slaughtered in Europe, some of those who remained found refuge in Israel, and that refuge was a kind of unwilling gift the Palestinians gave to them, but a gift all the same.
Here are the relevant passages:
“There’s, you know, there’s a 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, had been wiped out. . . . 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,” Tlaib said.
She added that the events of the past have informed her views on how to approach a solution to the conflict.
“I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven], in many ways,” Tlaib said. “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 one-state, I think about the fact that, why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
There are many ways to look at that history, and what you think of this version of it is not really important. What matters here is that Tlaib was arguing that there exists a bond between Israelis and Palestinians that could be the basis for a peaceful future.
While there may be "many ways to look at history," promoting lies is not the best way. And Waldman is wrong in discounting what one thinks of "this version." It is important to not accept lies. A good historian searches for the truth. But if his motive for writing is to cover for Rashida Tlaib and help make her the victim of a witch hunt, then maybe facts aren't as important as making sure we are too cowed to question Tlaib's historical inaccuracies.
And then Tlaib made an official statement on official stationary.
Stay tuned. I'm sure this debate is only getting started.