Rep. Rashida Tlaib, famous these days for being infamous, is being taken to task for what she said last week about the Holocaust. Two leading Republicans quickly pounced, feeling so strongly about Tlaib’s remarks that, in the name of all things Israel, they mangled what she had actually said and used the Holocaust to score cheap political points. That, simply, is a sin.
Tlaib is one of the GOP’s favorite targets. The Michigan Democrat is a socialist, a Muslim and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. She also opened what we used to call a big mouth on President Donald Trump, dropping an F-bomb on his oddly colored head in her call for impeachment. As far as Trump’s congressional fans are concerned, Tlaib should become the emblematic face of the Democratic Party, much as the iconic Marianne is for the French Republic.
It would suit me just fine if Tlaib kept her mouth shut. I agree with her on almost nothing – not her socialism and not her support of the so-called BDS movement – boycott, divestment and sanctions. Coupled with the call to return all Palestinian refugees to Israel, these amount to an effort to asphyxiate Israel and turn it from being the Jewish state to a majority Arab one. But what she said about the Holocaust was hardly offensive. Heard without prejudice, it was oddly moving.
In an interview Friday with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast, Tlaib was asked about her advocacy of a single state – part Israeli and part Palestinian. She said she was “humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer” to create a safe haven for the Jewish people.