Hayes Slams ‘Bad Faith’ Republicans for ‘Twisting’ Tlaib’s Anti-Semitism

MSNBC host Chris Hayes was apparently playing the role of an apologist for anti-Semitic Democrats Tuesday as he danced around the facts and defended Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN). He declared that “Republicans are now on day two of their latest sustained round of bad faith attacks against Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib” while setting up his interview with Omar.

Completely ignoring CNN’s devastating fact-check of Tlaib’s attempt at revisionist history (falsely claiming Palestinians gave their lives to help found Israel when they actually sided with Hitler), Hayes claimed Tlaib was simply “expressing the personal meaning she derives from her ancestors' land in what is now Israel being used to create a safe haven for Jews after the horrors of the Holocaust.”

That sentiment has been twisted in truly odious ways from an accusation of anti-Semitism by the Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, to absolutely vile remarks from Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney suggesting that Tlaib was trying to delegitimize Israel,” he continued with no mention of the Democrats who were disgusted by the comments.

Was CNN twisting Tlaib’s comments in truly odious ways too?

Before introducing Omar, Hayes boasted about how the two anti-Semites “constantly had each other's backs as they have each endured a series of attacks.”

Hayes’s first question was an obvious attempt to dance around Omar’s past anti-Semitic comments: “Congresswoman, I want to talk about your op-ed but first I want to ask how you -- given the experience you've had, uh, in the sort of center of firestorms, uh, how you are interpreting what is happening right now with respect, uh, to your colleague Rashida Tlaib’s comments?”

 

 

Omar insisted that her hatred for Israel was being mischaracterized by people looking to silence Muslims (click “expand”):

Hi, Chris. It's really good to be here with you. I tell my sister, Rashida Tlaib, that her and I have the strength to endure any of the mischaracterization or efforts to distort and vilify and mischaracterize our message. I think we are seeing what happens when people really see these kind of attacks for what they are. It is designed to silence, sight line, and sort of almost eliminate public voice of Muslims from the public discourse. And so, I'm excited we have an opportunity to build alliances and push back and fight this attempt to marginalize our community’s voice.

After skirting by some of Omar’s anti-Semitic comments, Hayes wanted to talk about the “progressives, or liberals, or Jews who are offended” in “good faith” and were “skeptical maybe about where you were coming from.” As if people on the right couldn’t be genuinely offended.

Regarding Omar’s trivialization of the 9/11 attacks, Hayes asserted they were taken “wildly out of context and juxtaposed with some of the most horrific images in recent American memory … What was the effect of that on you personally, on your life? Did that materially create danger for you?

Of course, Omar’s comment in full context was even worse because she lied about when and why CAIR, a terrorism backing organization, was founded.

With one of the most softball questions an interviewer could ask a politician, the MSNBC host wrapped the segment by asking: “If you get to write your own story about what people know you for, what do you want to be known for?”

It’s disappointing and disturbing that there were folks in the media that would so casually brush off anti-Semitism to score political points.

The transcript is below, click "expand" below: 

MSNBC’s All In
May 14, 2019
8:30:16 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES: Republicans are now on day two of their latest sustained round of bad faith attacks against Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. This time it's for expressing the personal meaning she derives from her ancestors' land in what is now Israel being used to create a safe haven for Jews after the horrors of the Holocaust.

That sentiment has been twisted in truly odious ways from an accusation of anti-Semitism by the Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, to absolutely vile remarks from Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney suggesting that Tlaib was trying to delegitimize Israel.

But among Tlaib’s supporters is one of her most stalwart defenders, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Omar and Tlaib are the only two Muslim American women in Congress and have constantly had each other's backs as they have each endured a series of attacks.

Today, Congresswoman Omar along with her Jewish colleague, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, wrote an op-ed calling for building alliances between members of the Muslim and Jewish faiths and for an end to bigotry.

And Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Minnesota is here with me now. Congresswoman, I want to talk about your op-ed but first I want to ask how you -- given the experience you've had, uh, in the sort of center of firestorms, uh, how you are interpreting what is happening right now with respect, uh, to your colleague Rashida Tlaib’s comments?

REP. ILHAN OMAR: Hi, Chris. It's really good to be here with you. I tell my sister, Rashida Tlaib, that her and I have the strength to endure any of the mischaracterization or efforts to distort and vilify and mischaracterize our message. I think we are seeing what happens when people really see these kind of attacks for what they are. It is designed to silence, sight line, and sort of almost eliminate public voice of Muslims from the public discourse. And so, I'm excited we have an opportunity to build alliances and push back and fight this attempt to marginalize our community’s voice.

HAYES: You know, you have this op-ed with Jan Schakowsky today talking about sort of the shared interests of Jews and Muslims and sort of fighting bigotry and white nationalism and white nationalist violence. And I wonder what your experience has been because obviously there have been, I think, some folks who have come after you in bad faith. But there are some who were offended in good faith by things that you said or tweeted about allegiance to Israel or a tweet about the Benjamin’s, vis-a-vis money; and there are folks who consider themselves progressives, or liberals, or Jews who are offended and are skeptical maybe about where you were coming from. What have you learned and what do you say to them as you seek to sort of build this alliance?

(…)

HAYES: When the President tweeted out a video a few weeks ago – It was a video of you, comments you made before CAIR, wrenched, again, I think similar to this, wildly out of context and juxtaposed with some of the most horrific images in recent American memory, which was the destruction of the Twin Towers. What was the effect of that on you personally, on your life? Did that materially create danger for you?

(…)

HAYES: A final question for you. I mean, you’re someone -- you're a freshman member of Congress. You represent a district in Minnesota. You have been the target of a lot of attacks. You sort of, I think, elevated by certain folks in your political opposition who view you as a useful rhetorical cudgel. What do you, Congresswoman Omar, what do you want to be known for? If you get to write your own story about what people know you for, what do you want to be known for?

(…)

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