MSNBC host Chris Hayes interviewed Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday night about the backlash surrounding Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s recent Holocaust comments, but neglected to ask her about the alleged factual inaccuracies in them.
Tlaib’s comments sparked outrage after she made them during a weekend appearance on Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast. (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib Uses Inaccuracy To Explain Why ‘The Tragedy Of the Holocaust’ Gives Her ‘A Calming Feeling’)
The eight-minute interview on Hayes’ show began with him scrutinizing Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney’s “absolutely vile remarks” and GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniels’ accusations of anti-Semitism.
“[Rashida Tlaib] 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,” Omar began.
“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 ‘all about the benjamins,’ 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,” Hayes responded. “What have you learned and what do you say to them as you seek to build this alliance?”
The one thing that Jen and I realized was that when you see something wrong, that you have to use your influence and your voice to speak out against it and what we have noticed is that there is a threat. Our communities are being terrorized by white supremacy. We’ve seen the attacks on synagogues. We’ve seen the linkage that they have to people who seek to terrorize mosques. We notice that there is people on the right wing who are fueling that hate. Their message is being used to fuel the sort of violence against both of our communities because of our faith, and it is time for us to make sure that we don’t allow for them to use any misunderstanding there might be to divide us, that we collectively work together against the collective hate that is coming from the right wing and white supremacy.
The backlash stems from when Tlaib said that she gets “a calming feeling” when she thinks of the Palestinians’ sacrifice “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.”
But, as CNN’s John King pointed out Monday, “She also fails a critical fact ‘in-context test.’ Yes, as she said, 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.”
Further, historian and author of “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War,” Benny Morris published a piece in The Atlantic titled “Rashida Tlaib Has Her History Wrong.”
“But from 1933 onward, Palestine’s Arabs—led by the cleric Muhammad Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem—mounted a strident campaign to pressure the British, who governed Palestine, to bar all Jews from entering the country,” he wrote.
“Tlaib’s podcast promulgates two basic fallacies about the more recent past and the present: first, that the Palestinian struggle is akin to the black-American struggle against white oppression and discrimination, and second, that the sole responsibility for failing to reach a two-state solution to the Palestine conflict lies with Israel.”