Networks Ignore Rashida Tlaib’s Latest Anti-Semitic Comments on the Holocaust

It’s really become like day and night for some people on the left to spew anti-Semitic comments, isn’t it? Well, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) did just that in a Yahoo News podcast released Friday that’s been ignored by the major broadcast network newscasts. CNN’s Early Start covered them three times on Monday by rushing to her defense, but was undone hours later on Inside Politics.

First, there’s Tlaib’s comments. On the podcast Skullduggery, she was talking about the Holocaust and lamenting how Palestinians created a “safe haven” for the Jewish people after World War II that cost Palestinians “their lands” and “their lives.”

 

 

Here’s the comments in question from Tlaib (click “expand,” hat-tip Jewish Insider): 

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 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 some ways had been wiped out…all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and 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, why can’t we do it in a better way where — and 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 the way of values around equality and 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?

So, in other words, she suggested that her ancestors were “wiped out” and forced to lose “their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity” to make room for the Jewish people. If that’s not showing a disdain for the Jewish people, it’s difficult to say what is. 

While the flagship ABC, CBS, and NBC newscasts have ignored these comments, CNN’s Early Start spent three minutes and three seconds on Monday over the course of three extended news briefs. 

In each brief, co-host Dave Briggs introduced a condense version of Tlaib’s comments by framing it as — wait for it — a House Republican issue: “House Republicans denouncing Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for comments the Michigan Democrat made about the Holocaust on a Yahoo News podcast.”

After the clip, Briggs stated on all three occasions that Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) were “falsely accusing her of using the term calming to describe her view of the Holocaust itself” before excerpting both and moving on.

Earth to Briggs: It’s never a good move to use “comforting” and “Holocaust” in the same sentence.

If Early Start, The Washington Post, or any other pro-liberal outlet would have done a skosh more homework like AG Conservative, Jeryl Bier, and the Washington Examiner’s Seth Mandel did, they would have found that Tlaib’s comments were indeed disturbing despite the work by Tlaib and her team to double down while accusing critics of trying to silence her.

Fortunately, CNN’s Inside Politics covered Tlaib and host John King took her claims to the cleaners, knocking Tlaib for her “at best, an awkward word choice in any sentence referencing the Holocaust” before directly calling her out for spewing historical fiction.

 

 

Here was King with CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller (click “expand”):

KING: She did call the Holocaust horrific and a tragedy so the Republican focus on the word “calming” does twist the Congresswoman's words out of contest, but she also fails a critical fact and context test. Yes, she said that Palestinians lost land in the creation of Israel, but she ignored the fact that Palestinian leaders at the time allied themselves with Hitler and the total war was how the Arab world reacted to the declaration of Israeli independence....Aaron, let me start with you in the sense is she can't rewrite that history and can't project revisionist history, so why?

MILLER: First of all, I think there ought to be the ban of the deployment and employment of Holocaust imagery and metaphor in Washington politics. Any time he is been deployed by Republicans, Democrats, it's — it’s wrong. Genocide is not a unique event but the willful murder, systematic, organized murder of six out of every seven million European Jews is a unique event. And every time it’s done, it leads to misunderstanding and antagonism. She also has her history wrong, I mean, on two points. Number one, it's an arguably proposition even though there was no holocaust. Most of the propositions of the current state of Israel were in place before Hitler started killing Jews, so the Holocaust added urgency and international, support, but I suspect with or without it, the state of Israel would have come into being and finally on this notion that Palestinians either negatively or positively helped create a safe haven for Jews, the reality is that the Arabs in Palestine, Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti in Nazi Germany collaborating, coordinating with the Nazis of what would happen if Rommel's Third Court had actually been successful in Egypt and been President of Paletine, they were considering extermination of the entire Jewish community, so this was ill-timed, ill-advised, and I think, clearly, is simply going to antagonize and polarize the already polarized debate in Washington.

Someone had to provide the more traditional, pro-liberal line, so congressional correspondent Sunlen Serfaty fretted that “we've seen Republicans really very eager to seize on those comments with it taken out of context a bit, of course” as “[t]hey’re very eager to paint this as the new norm of what the face of the new Democratic Party looks like.”

Republicans “seize!” Everyone drink!

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs on May 13, click “expand.”

CNN’s Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs
May 13, 2019
4:09 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Developing Story; Tlaib Under Fire for Holocaust Comment; Rep. Cheney calls on Pelosi to take action against Michigan Democrat]

DAVE BRIGGS: House Republicans denouncing Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for comments the Michigan Democrat made about the Holocaust on a Yahoo News podcast. Listen.

CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): It'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 lands and some lost their lives, in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews post the Holocaust post the Holocaust, post the tragedy 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.

BRIGGS: Two top House Republicans are falsely accusing her of using the term calming to describe her view of the Holocaust itself. Minority Whip Steve Scalise says there is nothing calming about 6 million Jews being murdered and Liz Cheney of Wyoming calling on Speaker Pelosi to take action against Tlaib for her “anti-Semitism.”

(....)

4:39 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Developing Story; Tlaib Under Fire for Holocaust Comment; Rep. Cheney calls on Pelosi to take action against Michigan Democrat]

BRIGGS: House Republicans denouncing Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for comments the Michigan Democrat made about the Holocaust on a Yahoo News podcast. Listen.

TLAIB: It'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 in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away. 

BRIGGS: Two top House Republicans are falsely accusing her of using the term calming to describe her view of the Holocaust itself. Minority Whip Steve Scalise says there is nothing calming about 6 million Jews being murdered and Liz Cheney of Wyoming calling on Speaker Pelosi to take action against Tlaib for her “vile anti-Semitism.”

(....)

5:07 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Developing Story; Tlaib Under Fire for Holocaust Comment; Rep. Cheney calls on Pelosi to take action against Michigan Democrat]

BRIGGS: House Republicans denouncing Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for comments the Michigan Democrat made about the Holocaust on a Yahoo News podcast. Listen.

TLAIB: It'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 in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away. 

BRIGGS: So, two top House Republicans are falsely accusing Tlaib of using the term “calming feeling” to describe her view of the Holocaust itself. Minority Whip Steve Scalise says there is nothing calming about 6 million Jews being murdered and Liz Cheney of Wyoming is calling on Speaker Pelosi to take action against Tlaib for her “vile anti-Semitism.”

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on May 13, click “expand.”

CNN’s Inside Politics
May 13, 2019
12:11 p.m. Easter [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Coming Up; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

JOHN KING: Up next for us here, a freshman Democrat wades into history and rewrites it. 

(....)

12:15 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

KING: Today a new controversy circling a freshman Democrat and a big question about what you might call the burden of proof. The source of the stress test? Congresswoman Rasheed Tlaib and remarks she made on Yahoo's Skullduggery podcast. The topic was Israel and Tlaib's support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Before looking forward she looked to the past and listen closely. Said this. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Revises History, Says Palestinians Helped Create Safe Haven for Jews After Holocaust]

CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): And there's, you know, this 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, the human dignity, their existence in many ways have been wiped out and some people's passports, 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 horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Trump: Rep. Tlaib “Has Tremendous Hatred of Israel”]

KING: Now, calming is, at best, an awkward word choice in any sentence referencing the Holocaust and one readily made for Republican critics, including the President of the United States. On Twitter today, “She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people,” the President tweeting, “can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?” 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Rep. Tlaib: Republicans “Twisting,” “Policing” My Words]

Now, Tlaib says Republicans like the President are “policing” her “words” and “twisting....them” into something they are not. “The truth will always win,” Tlaib said, in her tweet. Now, remember what you just heard a moment ago. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Revises History, Says Palestinians Helped Create Safe Haven for Jews After Holocaust]

She did call the Holocaust horrific and a tragedy so the Republican focus on the word “calming” does twist the congresswoman's words out of contest, but she also fails a critical fact and context test. Yes, she said that Palestinians lost land in the creation of Israel, but she ignored the fact that Palestinian leaders at the time allied themselves with Hitler and the total war was how the Arab world reacted to the declaration of Israeli independence.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

Joining our conversation, our global affairs analyst and former State Department negotiator, Aaron David Miller and CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty. Aaron, let me start with you in the sense is she can't rewrite that history and can't project revisionist history, so why?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Rep. Tlaib: Republicans “Twisting,” “Policing” My Words]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

AARON DAVID MILLER: First of all, I think there ought to be the ban of the deployment and employment of Holocaust imagery and metaphor in Washington politics. Any time he is been deployed by Republicans, Democrats, it's — it’s wrong. Genocide is not a unique event but the willful murder, systematic, organized murder of six out of every seven million European Jews is a unique event. And every time it’s done, it leads to misunderstanding and antagonism. She also has her history wrong, I mean, on two points. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Revises History, Says Palestinians Helped Create Safe Haven for Jews After Holocaust]

Number one, it's an arguably proposition even though there was no holocaust. Most of the propositions of the current state of Israel were in place before Hitler started killing Jews, so the Holocaust added urgency and international, support, but I suspect with or without it, the state of Israel would have come into being and finally on this notion that Palestinians either negatively or positively helped create a safe haven for Jews, the reality is that the Arabs in Palestine, Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti in Nazi Germany collaborating, coordinating with the Nazis of what would happen if Rommel's Third Court had actually been successful in Egypt and been President of Paletine, they were considering extermination of the entire Jewish community, so this was ill-timed, ill-advised, and I think, clearly, is simply going to antagonize and polarize the already polarized debate in Washington. 

KING: Which Congresswoman Tlaib, one of the freshman Democrats, who’s already been getting a lot of attention and most of that attention unfavorable. Congresswoman Omar the same. The Republicans saying that they’re anti-Semites, that they’re hurting the cause. Liz Cheney, the number three in the House Republican leadership, tweeting over the weekend: “Surely now @SpeakerPelosi  &  @LeaderHoyer  will finally take action against vile anti-Semitism in their ranks. This must cross the line, even for them. Rashida Tlaib says thinking of the Holocaust provides her a ‘calming feeling.’” And again, the “calming” bit is a bit out of context, but to the bigger picture that Aaron just laid out about the history and why, is this deeper trouble for Congresswoman Tlaib and the Democrats? 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

SUNLEN SERFATY: It certainly, is and we've seen Republicans really very eager to seize on those comments with it taken out of context a bit, of course, and really focused their fire not only on Tlaib but we've seen them also do this with other controversial House freshmen, as you mentioned Ilhan Omar. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Rep. Tlaib: Republicans “Twisting,” “Policing” My Words]

They’re very eager to paint this as the new norm of what the face of the new Democratic Party looks like and Liz Cheney, in her statement about Tlaib, she specifically called it the new norm of the Democratic caucus, very eager to paint this as broad strokes. This is what the face of the Democrats look like now, this — paint them as out of touch, as extreme. You know, not too long ago Nancy Pelosi was the boogie man of the Democratic party, very eager now Republicans to paint this wing of the party, these views on Israel as mainstream. 

KING: And I'm struck, not just in this case but again in this case, how closely this has followed in the Israeli media in the sense that they see these freshman, these provocative, in many cases, anti-Semitic statements coming and it’s getting coverage I’ve never seen before in years of doing this. You've got deeper experience than me and you follow it more closely. Is that right? Is that fair?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Tlaib Sparks Controversy With Remarks About Holocaust, Israel]

MILLER: Yeah. I mean, there's a twitting going on here. There’s a sympathetic connection between Benjamin Netanyahu recently re-elected and Donald Trump and I suspect the prime minister has made a judgment that in fact these progressive Democrats and the base of the party are ammunition and advocates to try to essentially turn the Republican party into the go-to party with respect to Israel. That has electoral consequences, but for the U.S.-Israeli relationship, if this means the end of bipartisanship, that there’s an R-vision of Israel and a D-vision of Israel, then the U.S.-Israeli relationship over time is going to be in trouble. 

KING: Speaker Pelosi has insisted that’s not the case or at least that she doesn't see that way. I haven’t seen anything from her on this. She prefers to deal with these things privately. Any indication she’s going to deal with this publicly? 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #InsidePolitics; Rep. Tlaib: Republicans “Twisting,” “Policing” My Words]

SERFATY: She hasn’t — she has not mentioned it. She’s commented about it. Her office has not gotten back to us. We've asked for a comment. I think she will have to face this when they get back to Washington tomorrow, the fact that this is a controversy that's growing but this, again, just puts Democratic leadership in a very awkward spot, a spot that they have not liked to be in since the start of this new Congress, only five months already these new members have been here and we've seen time and time again leadership have to answer for the controversial statements of their House freshmen, this small group of House freshmen in particular, knocks them off their legislative priorities, knocks them off what focus they want this week, and I think this, again, sets up to be that example this week. 

KING: And we'll watch as the week plays out. Aaron David Miller, Sunlen Serfaty, thanks for coming in. 

(....)

12:38 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Political Radar; Hoyer: Republicans “Owe Her An Apology” for Taking Rep. Tlaib’s Remarks Out of Context]

KING: Topping our political radar today, fresh reaction just in to new controversy surrounding freshman Democrat Rashida Tlaib and her remarks about the Holocaust. The House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer telling CNN in a statement just minutes ago: “If you read [Representative] Tlaib's comments, it is clear that President Trump and congressional Republicans are taking them out of context. They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”

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