Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday night and defended herself against the backlash from an interview that was published Friday on Yahoo! News podcast Skullduggery where she made inflammatory comments about the Jewish people and the Holocaust.
Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress told her interviewer that she feels “calm” when thinking about the event surrounding the deaths of millions of Jewish people.
Tlaib said on “Late Night” that her grandmother lives in the West Bank, which she described as “the occupied territories of Palestine” and claimed that many of her ancestors “died” or “gave up their livelihood” in an effort to provide a safe haven for Jews. She said that her comments were to “recognize and honor,” those Palestinians.
“I want all of us to feel safe. All of us deserve human dignity, no matter our backgrounds, no matter our ethnicity, no matter even our political opinions, we all deserve that kind of equality and justice. And, you know, for me, I wanted to uplift that and bring that to light and it was unfortunate,” Tlaib said.
“You know, I got a text from a friend who’s like, ‘Hey, next time, you know, really clarify. Maybe talk like a fourth-grader because maybe the racist idiots would understand you better.’”
She added: “I will continue to speak truth to power and continue to uplift my grandmother through love and that’s all I can do is continue to share the human impact of what it means to be a Palestinian in the occupied territory.”
However, a very different message was gleaned from Fridays interview when the congresswoman said, “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,” Tlaib said during the podcast according to The DailyMail.
“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.”