By Sohaila Barghash
US Congresswoman and lawyer Rashida Tlaib has been continuously attacked by her critics, including the Israeli ambassador to the UN and Republican politicians, who accused her of being an anti-Semite.
On her part, Rashida Tlaib accused Republicans and critics of clearly “policing” her words and “twisting [and] turning them to ignite vile attacks”.
Tlaib is of Palestinian origin and a representative for Michigan, highlighting key facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of the state of Israel in her recent interview with Yahoo’s Skullduggery podcast.
In response to a question about the one-state solution, she emphasized that it warmed her heart to know Palestinians helped Jews fleeing the Holocaust.
Tlaib said, “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, 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 that, why couldn’t we do it in a better way?”
Tlaib responded to Danon by saying that twisting what she says with the aim of igniting vile attacks on her are desperate attempts, which will fail miserably.
The congresswoman also stressed that she wanted a place for both Jews and Palestinians.
She added, “I am humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen, but I will not turn my back and allow others to hijack it and say that it’s some extremist approach because they’re coming from a place of … whatever it is … of division, inequality”.
Democratic leaders also rallied behind Tlaib, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer accusing Republicans of taking her words out of context.
Tlaib’s supporters also came to her aid, for instance, American author and commentator Reza Aslan said referring to the meeting in the Oval Office between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Trump that “The Republican president praised a tyrannical fascist and avowed anti-Semite in the White House and the GOP is condemning @RashidaTlaib for saying it warms her heart to know Palestinians helped Jews fleeing the Holocaust.”
Furthermore, Tlaib’s supporters said the criticism had more to do with the fact that she is a Muslim woman than it did with her comments.
Alongside Ilhan Omar, Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim legislators in US history to sit in Congress, both of whom have criticised Israel and the US approach to the issue.
Last month, a 49-year-old man was arrested on basis of leaving racist, homophobic and Islamophobic messages filled with death threats on the voicemails of Tlaib, Democrat Eric Swalwell and Democrat Cory Booker, and was charged with making threatening communications.
Many analysts highlighted the US president’s heated rhetoric as more far-right attacks and threats take place in the country, however, the accusation was rejected by the White House.