Saturday, August 24, 2019

Rashida Tlaib’s ‘Calming Feeling’

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Algemeiner.}

I must admit that I was probably wrong when I have suggested that the Tlaib / Omar Israel fiasco was likely just a light thunderstorm that would quickly pass. I am coming to the conclusion that I was mistaken.

This story appears to have stronger legs than I thought. It could even surpass the hysteria surrounding Netanyahu's 2015 address to the US Congress concerning Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

Many people who care about Israel are scratching this story like it is a deep itch, including me. And that means we are looking at various side issues related to the primary one. The primary issue, in my view, is around the question of why the Democratic Party would side with antisemitic anti-Zionists, such as Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) against their Jewish constituency and in opposition to Israel following its own laws. Israeli legislation from 2017 requires the government to disallow entrance into the country for those who promote BDS.

One curious aspect of the story, however, is Rashida Tlaib's claim that she got a "calming feeling" when she thought about the Holocaust. What an unusual thing to say. Given that Tlaib is, in fact, an anti-Zionist it is very easy for Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to take that statement in the wrong way. Tlaib was not suggesting that she got a cozy feeling inside thinking about the misery of the Jews. On the contrary.

Tlaib said this:
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.

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. 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 and it was forced on them.
It is true, obviously, that many Arabs of the Mandate suffered because of the 1948 War of Independence. Many lost their homes and jobs and lives and loved-ones. The problem is that Tlaib's interpretation is ahistorical. She pretends that the Arabs were innocent in the unfolding of events when they were not. She also pretends that the Arabs were not aggressive when they most certainly were. The Jews had no nefarious intentions toward the Arabs, but Arabs could not stomach Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land.

It should be noted, nonetheless, that Tlaib's "calming feeling" is not coming from gratification at Jewish loss, but in her belief that her grandparents relinquished their freedom to help Jews directly after the Shoah.

I cannot know if Tlaib is deceiving herself or if she is outright lying. The historical record does not reflect the notion that the Arabs in the British Mandate struggled to "create a safe haven for Jews" at great cost to their own well-being during World War II. The very idea of it is laughable. This is a falsehood so gross in its distortions that it is amazing that Tlaib could utter these words without her tongue falling out of her mouth.

The truth is that the Arabs in the mandate did everything they could to keep Jews out of the Jewish ancestral homeland even as the Holocaust was happening. Between 1936 and 1939 the Arabs launched the "Arab Revolt." These ongoing Arab riots concluded with the British issuing its infamous "White Paper" agreeing to Arab demands and thus keeping hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Jews trapped in Europe. These Jewish semi-Holocaust survivors were caught between the Nazis who were determined to kill them and the British who wanted to lock them up in camps.

And who among us can possibly forget the participation of Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during World War II, who went to Berlin to strategize with Adolf Hitler on how best to bring the Holocaust to the Holy Land.

So, Representative Tlaib please do not deceive yourself into thinking that the Arabs of the mandate helped the Jews during the Holocaust. You are spreading what can be fairly described as a self-serving historical falsehood for the purpose of creating sympathy for the Palestinian-Arabs at the expense of the indigenous Jewish population. And if you are not aware of this perhaps your time would be better spent tending to the needs of your constituency rather than making life even more difficult for Israelis.


  1. She doesn't care about the lives of her constituents, of course unless they too are "Palestinian refugees." Then she wants to guarantee their right to return to all those "ancestral homes" (they all have ancestral homes, apparently) in "Palestine."

    I understand that members of Ms. Tlaib's own extended family enjoy driving BMW's as part of their oppressed lives under "the Occupation"TM along with vacations to Italy, and have also been spotted in Jaffa - how humiliating it must be for them to present ID at a checkpoint to enter a country while driving their Beamers. Just another episode of Boo Hoo Palestine.

    "I cannot know if Tlaib is deceiving herself or if she is outright lying. "
    But this is always the conundrum we face with the "anti-Zionist." Are they ignorant or are they lying? Ignorance, malice, or both?
    It always gives us pause in an interaction with these people and puts us at a disadvantage.

    1. Jeff, I am going to be very curious to see upcoming polls concerning American Jewish support for the Democratic Party.

    2. I think they will do their best to "keep the faith" as it were in the leadership, but I do think there will be growing concern and unease, and some private conversations. We'll see cheaply we can be bought off. Elizabeth Warren?
      Please. Oi vey. Can you imagine Israel being thrown under the bus by a fake Injun?
      I am already so disgusted by the behavior of Jewish groups over this affair and the willingness of the party and press to embrace these two Nazis.

  2. If she was calmed because her relatives her relatives relinquished the land to help the forsaken Jews, a good cause, then why is she so agitated to change the result and destroy the Jews?

    Analyzing what she says serves no purpose. She is no longer entitled to the benefit of the doubt. She is one of the intersectionalists by all means. The more she interjects, the less interests are served, except among the true believers that already identify.

    1. I gotta tell ya, school, I do find this story fascinating... and, yet, I hope it goes away soon.

    2. It seems destined to continue, and it's good that it's no longer under the surface. The more people see the less they will like her and her friends, including AOC.

  3. Not to be a conspiracy theorists Mike et al but one should consider that Tlaib is just doing the job given to her by her handlers be they Arabs or party strategists. Same with Omar. It explains nicely the WTF that always follows one of their bizarre gaffes. It melds nicely with my "testing the waters," theory also. Plus, they truly hate Israel and Jews who aren't antiZionists IMHO.

    1. As Lazar Kaganovich (Soviet Minister of Railways) used to say (paraphrase): every mistake has a first and a last name. In this case "her handlers", are Justice Democrats, or specifically Saikat Chakrabarti.

    2. Doodad and Jacob,

      I don't think any of us really know who may be pressuring Tlaib and Omar.

      I think that the Tlaib turn around concerning the grandmother might be a key.

      There were rumors at the time that the PA and others spoke with Tlaib and convinced her to change her mind on the grandmother deal if they couldn't use the trip for propaganda purposes.

      But this is speculation. I do not know that it is true.

    3. I don't think Omar is under any pressure at all. I think she is at heart a wild-eyed fanatic. She is Alham Tamimi. She is Muslim Brotherhood. She believes she is the advance guard, the tip of the spear, and she loves it.

      Tlaib strikes me as the weak sister in this act. The evidence already shows that she can be gotten to.

  4. ************************************************

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